AlmostAGhost’s Best Albums Of 2010 – #18. Vampire Weekend – Contra

Vampire Weekend - Contra
look psychotic in a balaclava

#18. Vampire Weekend – Contra

I know this choice is particularly hipster of me. But so is counting down my top 25 albums of the year on a friend’s blog, so whatever. I’ve been charmed by Vampire Weekend. I saw a bit more than half of their set at Coachella this year (another hipster alert, what am I turning into?) and thought they were pretty fun. I’ve listened to more than half of their new album, as well, and also find it pretty fun.*

Anyway, I find Vampire Weekend’s music tantalizing. Their songs all seem to be right on the edge of busting out into some massive LCD Soundsystem-like funk. But they don’t. They hold it back. Or they just flash it briefly. This tension is what they do best, and is pretty addictive. The African polyrhythmic drums mix with Ezra Koenig’s catchy and creative melodies are a blast, and by the time you get to the heart of the album, it all makes sense and you’re groovin’.

“Horchata” kicks Contra off, taking you somewhere warm in December, trying to “forget a feeling you thought you’d forgotten.” What is he trying to escape? Many of the songs hint at this escape, of feeling disconnected and instead of dwelling on it, getting away. I won’t lie though, while I find Koenig to be an interesting lyricist, I am struggling with them a little. They do at times come off preppy and overly clever. But the preppy and overly clever can feel worried and disconnected too, right? Honestly though, it took me many listens to even begin to look at the words; it’s Vampire Weekend’s music that won me over. And if that makes me a hipster sometimes, then so be it.

*Just kidding, I’ve listened to all of it!

Vampire Weekend “Giving Up The Gun”

Vampire Weekend “Horchata”

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