It seems like good old fashioned common decency to keep you guys informed of what’s going on over here at notmanyexperts HQ and thusly I bring you the following news:
Team Leader and all-round good guy Phil has left the country for a few weeks in order to pit his wits on the rugby pitch against some angry Namibians and South Africans, and I wish him luck in his encounters. This does mean however that I, George, will be looking after the site as much as my incompetent mentality will let me, so please bear with us if the posts aren’t as beautifully presented as usual (see post below for upsettingly obviously evidence). I can guarantee however, that the quality of music you are used to will not waver, and on that note, I leave you with my favourite song of the moment..
I’m not sure it is possible to be any more ‘hipster’ than to listen to Vampire Weekend, Kid CuDi & Best Coast at the same time. Sit back and listen in the knowledge you are now amongst the elite of the ‘cool’. Eyyyy
Now that “Contra” has been leaked for an enormous two days, the wave of amateurish and badly written reviews will start to pour out of blogs such as this one. The trick with all of this blog business is to carefully choose who to trust; and I can quite confidently offer you the advice that if the “Contra” review you are reading kicks off by attempting to compare it to the band’s debut, you should stop reading. The thing is, how this album compares with “Vampire Weekend” is no less than useless information. The debut was great, sure, but it doesn’t in any way help us to understand how much “Contra” is worth your time. Sure, if you were being very pedantic you could argue that “Vampire Weekend” shows us what the band are capable of, but I still don’t think that whether a band is achieving their potential or not governs whether a record is good or bad. I can’t help feeling that people have become so attached to “Vampire Weekend” that they’re going to find it impossible to enjoy what “Contra” has to offer.
And, well, “Contra” certainly has a lot to offer, whether or not this is going to please their fans, though, remains to be seen. “Contra” is the sound of a strangely matured band, considering their age, not allowing themselves to be restrained by how they are perceived and more than confident enough to race off into little cul-de-sacs of music that nobody else could have had the courage to pull you down. Without a doubt, there are mis-steps, but these curious inaccuracies are no more than the sign of a band expanding their sound; and when they find the way to properly express themselves, as they so often do, even the most enthusiastic of Vampire Weekend fans will have to try pretty hard not to be impressed. They’ll still try to compare it to A-Punk, though…
PS: Seeing as the fantastic album is available yet, songs will only be available for streaming, which I assumed was OK since they are up on the MySpace. Still, XL, e-mail me if you are unhappy.
Horchata, for those living on the East side of the Atlantic, is an eminently disgusting sounding rice & almond “drink” popular in Latin America. Or so Wikipedia reliably (?) informs me. And, disgusting or not, Vampire Weekend decided to make a song about it. Following a mysterious 4 hour countdown earlier today, the Brooklyn band are giving it away for free via their website.
Could I be more excited about new album “Contra”? No. Could “Horchata” be any better? Yes. Being fair, it’s the sort of light and breezy sun and sand pop music that caused everybody with a v-neck sweater to fall in love with Vampire Weekend, but the lack of progression is blatant. Does this matter? Should every band be trying to emulate Radiohead’s proficiency of changing musical styles every album? I’m not sure that they should be, but there’s a marked difference between switching genres á la Radiohead, and the natural process of development. That said, “Horchata” is the first song on the album, and it would therefore make sense for it to be a sort of stop gap between “Vampire Weekend” and “Contra”. Personally, I think that we need to listen to it in its context; if “Horchata” is merely a convenient bridge between old and new, then it will go down as an evocative reminder of the debut we loved. On the other hand, if it’s indicative of “Vampire Weekend Part II (Because We Made, Like, Loads Of Money On The Last One)” then I’ll be disappointed. However, given that “Vampire Weekend” was so new and bold in its musical style, I can’t really see them disappointing us and playing it too safe. The end result? Still really excited, if a little nervous.