Vampire Weekend is an American rock band from New York City, formed in 2006 and currently signed to Columbia Records. The band was formed by lead vocalist and guitarist Ezra Koenig, multi-instrumentalist Rostam Batmanglij, drummer Chris Tomson, and bassist Chris Baio. The band’s first album Vampire Weekend (2008)—which included the singles “Mansard Roof”, “A-Punk”, “Oxford Comma”, “Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa”, and “The Kids Don’t Stand a Chance”—was acclaimed by critics for its world music influences. Their following album, Contra (2010), was similarly acclaimed and garnered strong commercial success. Their third studio album, Modern Vampires of the City (2013), won the group a Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Album in 2014. Batmanglij departed the group in early 2016. The band’s fourth album, Father of the Bride, was released in 2019. Here are all of Vampire Weekend’s albums ranked.
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4. Contra (2010)
“Great leap forward from debut. Songs are better, expanded and less pretentious (joke). It’s like they gave a really good band a few joints and they made this. Songs are sharp and robust and blah, blah, blah – if you liked some of the singles rom the first record, I bet you’ll dig this whole record. It’s got a little bit of everything and it’s all done well – and I dislike most things. Each record is better than the last.”
3. Vampire Weekend (2008)
“In some ways the band shares similarities to some of my other favorite bands. For example, “Mansard Roof” is similar to the Talking Heads’ “Thank You For Sending Me An Angel” from their 1978 “More Songs About Buildings And Food” album. Or “A-Punk” sounds similar to The English Beat’s “Mirror In The Bathroom” from their 1980 “I Just Can’t Stop It” album. Or “Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa” sounds similar to Paul Simon’s “Diamonds On The Soles Of Her Shoes” from his 1986 “Graceland” album. Sometimes Ezra Koenig’s singing reminds me of Adam Ant as well. They are all of these things, and yet they are none. They bring something new and refreshing to the table.”
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2. Father of the Bride (2019)
“The eagerly awaited followup to 2013’s “Modern Vampires of the City” is definitely not a race against time. Down an integral group member, Rostom Batmanglij, who jumped ship in 2016, he makes his presence known and felt on two tracks. There’s something to be gleaned from listening to this music. The band has this wonderful swell of melody to luxuriate in and they still know how to surprise in the middle of a song with a lot of tempo and instrumental changes. Variety (rock, folk, classical) is the key and the production has punch throughout. Of course, Ezra Koenig’s voice and lyrics can’t be forgotten as he ponders a world in collapse and mortality offset with some romanticism.”
1. Modern Vampires Of The City (2013)
“Modern Vampires of the City is for me Vampire Weekend’s best album. It moves forward from their previous albums, Contra and S/T without moving to far away from what made the band so popular in the first place. Everything sounds a little bit more polished and the production quality is great. Songs like Hannah Hunt and Unbelievers are favorites and staples of their catalog so don’t pass up this album when looking for additions to your collection. I bought the vinyl version and it sounds great and comes with a big poster of the album art that I hang on my wall.”