Vampire Weekend


Describing their sound as "Upper West Side Soweto," New York City's Vampire Weekend mixes preppy, well-read indie rock with joyful, Afro-pop-inspired melodies and rhythms. Ezra Koenig, Chris Baio, Rostam Batmanglij, and Chris Tomson formed the band early in 2006, when they were finishing up their studies at Columbia University. Taking their name from a movie Koenig made during his freshman year, the band started out by playing gigs at the university's literary societies and at parties. Word spread about Vampire Weekend's unique sound and lyrics ("Oxford Comma"'s title refers to comma use in a list of three items), buoyed by the band's self-released EPs, which they recorded in locations spanning their Columbia dorm rooms to a family barn. The buzz around Vampire Weekend reached a peak in 2007: that summer, the band embarked on their biggest tour yet, made several appearances at that year's CMJ Music Marathon, and signed with XL Records that fall. The Mansard Roof EP was Vampire Weekend's debut release for the label, followed by their self-titled first album early in 2008.