Mixing well-read indie rock with joyful, Afro-pop-inspired melodies and rhythms, Vampire Weekend grew from one of the first bands to be championed by music bloggers into a chart-topping, Grammy Award-winning act that helped define the sound of indie music in the late 2000s and 2010s. After establishing the foundations of their bright, intricate style with 2008's Vampire Weekend, the band soon became hugely successful; they're the first indie rock act to have two consecutive albums (2010's Contra and 2013's Modern Vampires of the City) enter the Billboard Hot 100 at number one. With each release, Vampire Weekend's music grew more diverse, incorporating ska, hip-hop, and '80s pop influences that nevertheless complemented their signature style. Similarly, the band weathered the loss of founding member Rostam Batmanglij to deliver some of their most polished and ambitious work with 2019's Father of the Bride. Vocalist/guitarist Ezra Koenig, drummer Chris Baio, multi-instrumentalist Rostam Batmanglij, and bassist Chris Tomson met when they were finishing up their studies at Columbia University. They formed Vampire Weekend in early 2006 out of Koenig and Tomson's hip-hop collaboration L'Homme Run. Taking their name from a short film Koenig worked on during the summer between his freshman and sophomore years, the band started out by playing gigs at the university's literary societies and at parties. The following year, they issued their self-released eponymous EP as well as the "Mansard Roof" single on Abeano Records and the "A-Punk/Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa" single on Free News Projects. Praise from music blogs led to several appearances at that year's CMJ Music Marathon, and Vampire Weekend signed with XL Recordings soon after. The label reissued "Mansard Roof," and the band began recording their debut album in locations ranging from a barn to the band members' apartments to Brooklyn's Tree Fort studio. Arriving in January 2008, Vampire Weekend was one of the year's most popular indie releases, debuting within the Top 20 of both the American and U.K. album charts; meanwhile, the singles "A-Punk" and "Oxford Comma" also charted in the U.S. and the U.K. The band then toured for the better part of two years, while Batmanglij gathered additional accolades by releasing an album with Discovery, his electro side project with Ra Ra Riot's Wes Miles. During this time, Vampire Weekend returned to the studio to record their second album, Contra, which arrived in January 2010. Featuring the singles "Horchata" and "Cousins," the album debuted at the top of the Billboard 200 chart and earned a Grammy nomination for Best Alternative Music Album. Late in 2011, the band returned to the studio to record their third album with Ariel Rechtshaid, who co-produced the album with Batmanglij. The band wrote and recorded the album at New York's SlowDeath Studios, Hollywood's Vox Recording Studios, and Batmanglij's New York apartment. Described by Koenig as a darker, more organic set of songs, Modern Vampires of the City was released in May 2013. Like Contra, the album debuted at the top of the Billboard 200 -- making Vampire Weekend the first rock band on an independent label to enter the charts at number one with two consecutive albums -- and it also won the Grammy for Best Alternative Album in 2014. Early in 2016, Batmanglij announced he had left Vampire Weekend but would continue to play with them in the future. That year, the band began work on their fourth album with collaborators including Rechtshaid, Justin Meldal-Johnsen, Danielle Haim, and Dirty Projectors' Dave Longstreth. Early in 2019, Vampire Weekend released pairs of songs, including February's "Harmony Hall" and "2021," before the arrival of the double album Father of the Bride that May on the Columbia Records imprint Spring Snow. ~ Heather Phares
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Musica alternativa e indie - Uscito il 03 maggio 2019 | Columbia
In poco più di un decennio, i Vampire Weekend se la sono presa comoda. Dopo l'omonimo Vampire Weekend (2008), Contra (2010) e Modern Vampires of the City (2013), la band di Ezra Koenig pubblica finalmente un nuovo lavoro dopo un silenzio durato sei anni e scandito dalla partenza dell'influente Rostam Batmanglij che ha pubblicato l'eccellente Half-Light come solista nel 2017... Modern Vampires Of The City segnò una grande evoluzione nella vita del gruppo di New York. I tocchi etnici alla Talking Heads scomparvero in favore di un pop più brillante, nelle melodie e nelle armonie, come nelle sonorità. Koenig, il cervello della band, che ha lasciato la Grande Mela per Los Angeles, conferma con Father of the Bride la sua bulimia stilistica. Il suo filo conduttore rimane ovviamente il pop, ma ognuna delle 18 canzoni sa offrire un paesaggio diverso. È un album che abbonda d'influenze, dai Beatles ai Beach Boys, dai Fleetwood Mac ai Supertramp, Paul Simon, Wilco e Grateful Dead, per citarne solo alcune. Anche sul fronte degli ospiti i Vampire Weekend non si fanno mancare nulla, come il chitarrista impressionista Greg Leisz, la voce di Danielle Haim degli HAIM, la chitarra di Dave Longstreth dei Dirty Projectors, Steve Lacy dei The Internet e persino Rostam torna con il gruppo su due brani. Man mano che l'ascolto va avanti viene da chiedersi se Ezra Koenig non abbia firmato qui con il suo White Album (il più eclettico dei dischi dei Beatles) tutto da solo... © Marc Zisman / Qobuz
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