12 Songs, 39 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Vampire Weekend’s second, self-produced album carries with it the charming hallmarks of the first funneled into 10 streamlined songs: breezy, weightless melodies; pristine high-register vocals; beyond-literate storytelling; and atypical song structures that incorporate elements of chamber pop and bouncy, African-influenced rhythms. Steel-drum-dappled opener, “Horchata”, sets the carefree tone that’s echoed by ethereal “White Sky” with its fluttering synths, brushed drums, and cathartic cooing. Amidst a sinewy melody grounded by a strutting bassline, “Holiday” brings to mind the previous album’s “Oxford Comma”, as frontman Ezra Koenig muses about seeing the word “bombs” blown up to a large font type. It’s this ability to weave wily phrases with wispy melodies that make Vampire Weekend appeal to a broader audience than the average indie band. This version of Contra includes an exclusive track: horn-speckled “Giant” that begins with a vocal interpolation of Notorious B.I.G.’s rap classic “Juicy” and further hints at a California theme woven throughout the album.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Vampire Weekend’s second, self-produced album carries with it the charming hallmarks of the first funneled into 10 streamlined songs: breezy, weightless melodies; pristine high-register vocals; beyond-literate storytelling; and atypical song structures that incorporate elements of chamber pop and bouncy, African-influenced rhythms. Steel-drum-dappled opener, “Horchata”, sets the carefree tone that’s echoed by ethereal “White Sky” with its fluttering synths, brushed drums, and cathartic cooing. Amidst a sinewy melody grounded by a strutting bassline, “Holiday” brings to mind the previous album’s “Oxford Comma”, as frontman Ezra Koenig muses about seeing the word “bombs” blown up to a large font type. It’s this ability to weave wily phrases with wispy melodies that make Vampire Weekend appeal to a broader audience than the average indie band. This version of Contra includes an exclusive track: horn-speckled “Giant” that begins with a vocal interpolation of Notorious B.I.G.’s rap classic “Juicy” and further hints at a California theme woven throughout the album.

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