MTV Presents Vampire Weekend
plus support at KCLSU, London on Wednesday, May 26th 2010
MTV PRESENTS | Vampire Weekend plus support
WHEN | Wednesday, May 26th 2010
WHERE | KCLSU, London
PRICE | £12.50
NB This is an all ages show (14+, but 14-16 year olds must be accompanied by an adult)
MTV PRESENTS Vampire Weekend
Some bands stay in a holding pattern their whole careers. Others jerk the steering wheel hard and fly off the road. On their second album, Vampire Weekend do neither. Or maybe they do both.
Contra pulls off a series of impressive feats: It’s bustling with fresh ideas, and yet it sounds immediately familiar; it’s heavily layered but taut and kinetic; it chews ravenously through sound palettes and rhythms, and yet it’s nimble and assured; it’s still breezy, and yet it smoulders with a newfound emotional heft. The songs are catchy, fast, twinkling, clattering – the darker themes of loss, doubt and regret accumulate almost imperceptibly, but they land a powerful blow.
The finished product explodes any reductive notions of what constitutes Vampire Weekend’s sound and aesthetic. The varied influences here include third-wave ska, the Hallelujah Chicken Run Band, Brazilian baile funk, Congolese thumb pianos, Repo Man, Sublime’s 40 Oz. to Freedom, reggaeton, bachata, Bollywood, Philip Roth, Beethoven, NYC 1983, dancehall, and the Beastie Boys’ second album, Paul’s Boutique.
All of these influences are incorporated with subtlety and sophistication, woven together into a seamless fabric of references that, heard in full, resembles nothing so much as itself. Vampire Weekend’s music and lyrics serve to both construct and deconstruct a world around them. Like the word “contra” itself, the songs are layered with meaning and invite interpretation. With this album, Vampire Weekend have staked out an alien territory – literate, crackling, alive – that’s unmistakably their own.