It’s approaching the end of the year, as we all can see, and I’d like to attempt to tell you a little about some new music I fell in love with this past year over the next couple of months. This is in anticipation of the annual “best of” list I enjoy taking part of.
Despite all the hype, I tried hard to ignore Vampire Weekend’s Contra record that came out very early this year. I have always loved a good pop record, so despite being hyped out of proportion, I truly fell for Vampire Weekend’s self titled album. Expecting a sophomore slump, I listened to Contra a few times in the cold of winter this past year, and, unfortunately, it didn’t grab me right away and was shelved and ignored. To those who know me this unfortunately happens quite frequently.
I had basically forgotten about the album until I was flying to Spain for a scientific meeting in June. My cell phone (AKA music player) battery died on the plane and at the time I didn’t feel like reading and just needed something to listen to. There wasn’t really anything on the airline “radio” to satisfy me, until I found that you could listen to Contra in its entirety on the plane. I somehow spent the rest of the flight listening to the album, I don’t know how many times, and, like their debut record, after that flight I was hooked on Contra.
I heard this record everywhere this past year. For example, “Cousins” was heard on TV and film, notably Lisa Cholodenkos’s The Kids Are Alright, I heard “Giving Up The Gun” while walking through my local mall, “Horchata” was quite ironically playing at the local coffee shop, and I caught an MTV Europe special on Contra which played quite loud in a French bar. Being inundated like that can be quite annoying, but it still was a somewhat happy reminder of what a great pop group Vampire Weekend are. I am seriously trying not to hold that against them.