But all that aside, it was good to hear Vampire Weekend as a single entity, played through its 34 minute duration. Let’s try to forget the familiarity and concentrate on the songs. Let’s also not pretend to know anything about African music, so unlike many reviewers I’m not going to say that it’s obviously influenced by hi-life or whatever-the-heck-else African genres. I know nothing about them and I daresay most of the reviewers don’t either (that said, my sole recent foray into African music – the superb Ethiopiques compilation – was so enjoyable that I really should write about it here sometime). Let’s forget all the stuff about Ivy League preppiness, because I don’t know much about what all that is either.
What I do know is that it’s a great album, brim-full of indie-pop goodness, featuring that high-pitched guitar sound which is exotic enough to stand out from their post-punk peers. But it’s not just exoticism, it’s simply a better quality of songs, with decent tunes. Let’s not forget in all of this skinny-jean posing lark that it’s sometimes important to have tunes you can hum along to. Mansard Roof still soars in all the brief, rattling glory that made it one of my favourite songs from last year. The new songs sound right up to scratch. The added strings actually enhance the songs which feature them. The lyrics that are just enough on the right side of pretentious to make them continually interesting. And it’s got a simple breezy feel which by the end seems like it’s over all too soon. There's a short running time for sure, but Vampire Weekend seems like such good company that the time just flies past. Just press play and listen to the whole thing all the way through again.
Download: Vampire Weekend – Mansard Roof
Download: Vampire Weekend – Walcott
Buy Vampire Weekend (it’s out today) from Rough Trade or download from emusic.
The other good news is that there are some newly announced British tour dates.
Feb 21 London ULU
Feb 22 Wolverhampton Civic
Feb 23 Oxford Academy
Feb 24 Brighton Audio
So ULU on the 21st then? I think so.