Vampire Weekend is an American indie rock band from New York, formed in 2006 and signed to XL Recordings. History Vampire Weekend's name is derived from lead singer Ezra Koenig's amateur film of the same name. The band gained attention via... [more]
Vampire Weekend is an American indie rock band from New York, formed in 2006 and signed to XL Recordings.
Vampire Weekend's name is derived from lead singer Ezra Koenig's amateur film of the same name. The band gained attention via a variety of blogs, such as Stereogum. The band claims to be influenced by both African popular music and Western classical music, describing their genre of music as "Upper West Side Soweto", with such songs as "Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa" and "Oxford Comma" referencing Congolese soukous music.
The members of the band met while attending Columbia University; they then self-produced their first album after graduation while concurrently working full-time jobs. Koenig and drummer Chris Tomson first collaborated as members of the comedy-rap band "L'Homme Run". They are managed by Ian Montone, who also manages The White Stripes. They are signed to XL Recordings, of which the band said in an interview: "Before any labels had contacted us, we actually mentioned XL as the kind of label we'd ideally like to end up on. Just going on their roster alone, they obviously have good taste and support their artists well." 
In 2007, Vampire Weekend's song "Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa" was ranked 67th on Rolling Stone's list of the 100 Best Songs of the year. In November 2007, they toured the United Kingdom with The Shins. They were declared "The Year's Best New Band" by Spin magazine in the March 2008 issue, and were the second band to be shot for the cover of the magazine before releasing their debut "graduates"
The band's debut album Vampire Weekend was released January 29, 2008. It was a success in the US and UK, peaking at number 15 on the UK Albums Chart and number 17 on the Billboard 200. Four singles were released from the album; while "A-Punk" peaked at number 25 on the Billboard Modern Rock chart and number 55 on the UK Singles Chart, "Oxford Comma" peaked at number 38 in the UK. In 2008, Vampire Weekend were dubbed the "whitest band" by Christian Lander, the creator of the site Stuff White People Like, in an interview with Salon.com. During the summer of 2008, Vampire Weekend performed at the Central Park SummerStage in Manhattan and a fundraiser for Music for Democracy in October, where they shared the stage with David Crosby and Graham Nash. In December 2008, Vampire Weekend's debut album was #2 in Under The Radar magazine's "top 50 albums of 2008" issue. In the January 2009 issue of Rolling Stone magazine, their self-titled album was dubbed the 10th best album of 2008. Their song Ottoman was used during the credits of the 2008 blockbuster Nick and Norah's infinite playlist.
A new album was slated for release in July, but the band has recently hinted at a September release. Tracks thus far include, "White Sky", "Taxi Cab" "Little Giant," "California English," and, "Cousins."
* Ezra Koenig – lead vocals, guitar, piano, hand drum
* Rostam Batmanglij – organ, chamberlain, piano, harpsichord, guitar, vocal harmonies, drum and synth program, shaker
* Chris Tomson – drums, guitar
* Chris Baio – bass guitar