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Vampire Weekend: A-Punks On Afro-Pop

Vampire Weekend
Courtesy of the artist
Vampire Weekend

This segment, from Jan. 24, 2008, is part of our Vintage Cafe series, in which we revisit some of our best studio performances.

Vampire Weekend emerged from a fertile New York indie-rock scene; all four members met while attending Columbia University. Still, they stand out for two reasons. First, their endearingly wordy lyrics make Vampire Weekend's songs sound collegiate in the best possible way. And second, their unique sound inventively mixes contemporary American indie-rock, Western classical music and South African traditional music.

The band aims to capture its Afro-pop fandom in its songwriting, and it does well: Stylish songs such as "A-Punk" blend ska and woodwinds, while "Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa" invokes African dance music, but with lyrics about raging hormones. Vampire Weekend's highly anticipated self-titled full-length is out now.

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