Vampire Weekend

By Remy Raitt

The self-professed pop band from New York, Vampire Weekend, is banging out South African influenced beats for the world to hear. They describe their music as “Upper West Side Soweto”, incorporating elements of Indie pop, Indie rock and Afro-pop into their fresh sound. 




The band met at Columbia University and consists of Ezra Koening (lead guitar and vocals), Rostam Batmanglij (keyboard, guitar and vocals), Chris Tomson (drums) and Chris Baio (bass). Parents of some of the band members are from South Africa and played the music of South African artists like Johnny Clegg and The Soweto String Quartet while the band members were growing up. This has influenced Vampire Weekend’s sound, and both the guitar licks and the percussion have a distinctly African vibe.

The band produces a laid-back sound which is uncomplicated in its technicality, allowing for a collection of songs that might make their way back into your CD player again and again.

In 2007 the band’s first single entitled “Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa” was ranked 67th on








Rolling Stone magazines list of 100 Best Songs. In 2008 Spin

magazine acknowledged them as “The year’s best new band” after the release of their self-titled album on 29 January on XL Recordings.




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