You Used To Be So Pretty, But Now You're Just Tragic

Vampire Weekend by Vampire Weekend

The majority of music these days are dressed in fuzz and distortion. Unless the music is high-brow, pretentious and "sophisticated", a clean sound is utterly unpalatable. We want our musicians to look like hippies, we want them to sound distorted and scuzzy. Vampire Weekend disregards both of these things, choosing to make completely unpretentious pop music, keeping it clean and direct.

In fact, as Koenig and Co. would themselves say, "Through the pain, I always tell the truth".

Most people I know either love Vampire Weekend and everything they do, or they don't. For those that love them, their "Afro-suave" pep and clever lyrics (managing to sing about Dharamsala, referencing Lil' Jon and Peter Gabriel, kefir and keffiyeh) are a source of unbridled enjoyment; for those that hate them, their clean sound, obviously college-influenced lyrics and "preppy" image seems a little too Ivy League.

Their honesty is perhaps the reason they're so clean; you don't have to hear Ezra featured on The Very Best track "Warm Heart of Africa" to know their influenced by Afropop. Vampire Weekend manages to be adorably unpretentious despite the World Civilizations lingo and Ivy League learning precisely because they do what they're good at, and leave the rest behind. This translates to a lot of sonic space, the guitars, bass and drums so completely refined that it feels spacious.

Generally, the songs explore themes of materialism and life. In "Mansard Roof", Ezra finds himself describing mansard roof through the trees while "the Argentines collapse in defeat". "A-Punk" is a clever little song about a punk (aha!), and "The Kids Don't Stand A Chance" seems to be a song globalization as imperialism. However, on the other side of things, "Oxford Comma" hits on a more personal note in which we wonder, "Why would you lie about anything at all?". "I Stand Corrected" is the standout, a serious apology ending with the lines "Lord knows I haven't tried/I'll take my stand one last time/Forget the protocol/I'll take your hand/Right in mine/I stand corrected".

When I first heard Vampire Weekend, I kind of blew them off (mainly because of "One (Blake's Got A New Face)" distorted on the car radio was not very appealing), but I stand corrected.

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