Vampire Weekend is an American rock band from New York City, formed in 2006 and currently signed to Columbia Records. The band consists of lead vocalist and guitarist Ezra Koenig, multi-instrumentalist Rostam Batmanglij, drummer Chris Tomson, and bassist Chris Baio. The band's name comes from a short film project that Koenig worked on during college, inspired by the 1987 vampire film The Lost Boys.
The band's debut studio album, Vampire Weekend, was released on January 29, 2008 by XL Recordings. The album was produced by Batmanglij, with mixing assistance from Jeff Curtin and Shane Stoneback. The album showcased the band's unique hybrid of indie pop, chamber music, and Afropop influences, drawing inspiration from African pop styles such as soukous and Congolese rumba. The band jokingly described this sound as \"Upper West Side Soweto\".
The album received critical acclaim and commercial success, debuting at number 17 on the Billboard 200 and peaking at number 15 on the UK Albums Chart. The album also reached number 37 in Australia. The album was accompanied by five singles: \"Mansard Roof\", \"A-Punk\", \"Oxford Comma\", \"Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa\", and \"The Kids Don't Stand a Chance\". The album was ranked as the 5th-best album of 2008 by Time, the 56th-best album of the decade by Rolling Stone and 51st on Pitchfork's list of the Top 200 Albums of the 2000s. In 2012, Rolling Stone ranked the album number 430 on its list of \"The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time\".
Vampire Weekend's debut album established them as one of the most innovative and exciting new bands of the indie scene, with a distinctive style that blended catchy melodies, witty lyrics, and eclectic influences. The album also introduced a new generation of listeners to the rich and diverse musical traditions of Africa, while creating a fresh and original sound that was distinctly their own.
The band's second album, Contra, was released on January 11, 2010 by XL Recordings. The album was produced by Batmanglij, who also played a variety of instruments on the record. The album expanded the band's musical palette, incorporating elements of ska, dancehall, synth-pop, and worldbeat. The band also experimented with digital effects, drum machines, and AutoTune, creating a more modern and eclectic sound.
The album received positive reviews from critics, who praised the band's creativity and diversity. The album also achieved commercial success, debuting at number one on the US Billboard 200 and selling 124,000 copies in its first week. The album was recognized as one of The 100 Best Albums of the Decade So Far by Pitchfork in August 2014. The album was supported by six singles: \"Horchata\", \"Cousins\", \"Giving Up the Gun\", \"Holiday\", \"White Sky\", and \"Run\".
The album title is a reference to the 1987 video game Contra, which the band members played as children. The album cover features a photo of a young woman named Kirsten Kennis, taken in 1983 by photographer Tod Scott Brody. The band obtained a license to use the photo from Brody, but Kennis later sued them for using her image without her consent. The case was settled out of court in 2011. aa16f39245