In December, drinking horchata

Vampire Weekend - Horchata
Logic would dictate that releasing an album in early January would be commercial suicide. Then again, Animal Collective managed to pull it off earlier this year with the breakthrough Merriweather Post Pavilion. In 2010, Vampire Weekend will be taking the same gamble, issuing Contra on January 12.

After a mysterious countdown clock appeared on the group’s website, the group released the new single “Horchata” as a free download yesterday. It bears many of the hallmarks of the group’s self-titled debut, with collegiate strings, gentle melodies and charming, faintly smug lyrics. But rather than the Afro-pop that characterized the band’s previous work, the new song sounds faintly tropical; with plunking marimbas, clattering percussion and faintly burbling electronics, the instrumental passages recall a more straightforward version of High Places.

It’s a fun tune, although it doesn’t sound quite as natural as the Graceland-isms of the debut. This is mainly because singer Ezra Koening affects a slight accent (is that Jamaican he’s trying to do?), making the whole thing come off as a bit of a pastiche. Still, the songwriting is as hooky as ever, so don’t write off Contra just yet.

Head over to the group’s website to download the track. Contra is due out January 12 via XL.
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  1. By A sweater on the ocean floor on November 19, 2009 at 12:55 pm

    [...] sweater on the ocean floor November 19, 2009 “Horchata” was the first single off Vampire Weekend’s upcoming album Contra, and it suggested that the [...]

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