Vampire Weekend Biography
Last updated: 12/07/2010 11:00:00 AM
Vampire Weekend are an indie pop/rock band with afro-beat influences. Bandmates Ezra Koenig (vocals, guitar), Rostam Batmanglij (keys & vox), Christopher Tomson (drums) and Chris Baio (bass) formed February 2006 in New York, NY.
Their self-titled debut album was released on January 29, 2008 on XL Recordings to, so far, critical success. They are quickly garnering comparisons to Paul Simon's Graceland for the afrobeat style, as well as to The Kinks and NYC's The Walkmen. The album itself is also drawing comparisons to The Strokes' 2001 debut, Is This It, which also broke through at the time for its pop simplicity and ingenuity.
Vampire Weekend received much buzz from local blogs throughout 2007 during their rise to a record deal. Rolling Stone placed Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa at number 57 for the top 100 songs of 2007. They also garnered much local buzz in the summer of 2007 with their song Oxford Comma, which gripes about prep grammar, Lil' Jon, and coal drama. They are currently on their first major tour, covering North America and ending off at Coachella 2008 in Indo, California.
They are self-proclaimed "specialists in the following styles: 'Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa', 'Upper West Side Soweto', 'Campus', and 'Oxford Comma Riddim.'"
The name Vampire Weekend comes from a movie that Ezra Koenig made in the summer of his freshman year at college.