In Review...Vampire Weekend, Leif Vollebekk

>> Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Vampire Weekend

Sorry, naysayers. With Contra, the kids from Vampire Weekend stand a chance. For further prominence. Partially christened after the popular 80s Nintendo game, Contra immediately distinguishes itself from its titular predecessor. The instant accessibility and familiarity of their stunning afro-pop debut has been replaced with smarter, more mature and muscular songs. This time around the preppy lads from the Big Apple dabble in airy calypso “Horchata”, glittery synth-pop “White Sky”, turgid punk “Cousins,” and tender ballads “Taxi Cab”. Frontman Ezra Koening’s pliable pipes are stretched even further while the deft arrangements of Rostma Batmanglij see the band scale back the strings in favour of Marimbas, a VSS-30, shakers, hand drums, an M.I.A. sample, and, good golly!, an acoustic guitar. Load it. Play it. Enjoy it. The first great album of this fresh year.

-Mykael Sopher

Choice Cuts: “White Sky,” “Cousins”, “I Think UR A Contra”
R.I.Y.D.: The Very Best, Paul Simon’s Graceland, Phoenix
Label: XL Recordings

Leif Vollebekk

There is a certain something about Canada that helps bring into being the most thoughtful of singer-songwriters. Maybe it’s the long and harsh, isolating winters. Perhaps it’s the enchanting wilderness (have you ever you seen Hoarfrost?) Or it could even be the endlessly fascinating cultural diversity. Whatever his muse was, Montreal-based musician Leif Vollebekk now ranks amongst the country’s talented introspective folk artists. His independently-launched debut, Inlands, released this month via upstart label Nevado Records, is a winning collection of achingly gorgeous ballads set to skeletal arrangements. Vollebekk’s gentle acoustic strum and stately piano invite listeners to lean in and fully absorb his polite tales about the consequences of unrequited love. On “Quebec” he laments: “when a woman leaves, it’s best to just move away.” Wherever Leif lands, audiences will follow.

-Mykael Sopher

Choice Cuts: “In the Morning”, “Quebec”, “In the Midst of Blue and Green”
R.I.Y.D.: Timber Timbre, Bahamas, Jeff Buckley
Label: Nevado Records

Infinite Playlist: Bahamas - Pink Strat


Sarah 21 January 2010 at 09:02  

Album reviews have arrived! Awesome. I've never heard of Leif Vollebekk but I'm going to check him out - he sounds right up my alley.

Anonymous,  21 January 2010 at 12:04  

Contra = #1 on billboard! Only the 12th independently distributed record to do so since 1991.

Go Vampire Weekend go!

Post a Comment

  © Blogger template Webnolia by 2009

Back to TOP