Matt DC captures lots of why I like Vampire Weekend (and I really really like them) in this ILX post

Nitsuh does a great job with the Pitchfork review.

Not covered in either: someone on the ILX thread (who doesn’t like them) asks if it’s reminding likers of their college days. Yes, totally! This is the “preppiness” which – being unsteeped in US culture – I can’t hear directly, I guess. All the lines about staircases, campus and so on totally make me think of Summer terms at Queens’ College, Oxford. But then at the same time the specific touchpoints – placenames, labels, slang – of preppiness give the record a kind of exotic thrill-appeal too. So they’ve found a way to resell my own privilege back to me without me finding it obnoxious! Hurrah! (I think.)

(Though obnoxiousness be damned, if four limber young fellas out there want to form a band called The Wykehamists to play “Surrey Gamelan” and they need a manager or creative consultant, I’m game. If Robin C’s busy, that is.)

In the spirit of recycling, here’s some initial impressions of mine, filched from old posts from a private message board:

“the more I listen (and I’ve been listening a LOT – I’m somewhat surprised at how much this record has grabbed me) the 80s comparison* that makes sense isn’t Paul Simon or certainly not Talking Heads but Orange Juice. Same knowing play with elegance, same slightly clumsy reaching for new influences, most of all the same gorgeous blitheness. So maybe the pendulum of influence is about to swing from post-punk to new pop (pleasepleasepleasepleaseplease). Also like Orange Juice the more I listen to them the more I hear a them emerging rather than a collision of styles – the indiepop and the Afropop and those snooty strings which I guess are the sonic touchpoints for their ‘preppiness’.** If indie is the new mainstream (crass shorthand for much bigger argument) then in my view a lot of interesting stuff is going to come from bands who accept this as the terms of engagement and the natural way of things. I love how well-thought-out VW’s gimmicks seem, even if I idly wonder how they’re going to get a second record out of them.

*I dunno about 00s comparisons – never knowingly heard the Walkmen

**I got home from work tonight and there was some very posh arpeggiated stringsy theme tune on the TV which I recognised but having listened to this album all day all I could think was “Oh that sounds like a Vampire Weekend string part”. And – rather marvellously – it was the theme to collegiate quiz show ‘University Challenge’!”