Q's Top 20: #8 - Vampire Weekend

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The #8 album on Q's Top 20 Albums of 2013 is from one of the first buzz bands to break thanks to the online hype machine... and for good reason. Vampire Weekend became known for deftly weaving global flourishes into their sprightly indie rock sound, and marrying that with smart, tongue-in-cheek lyrics about everything from a punctuation mark... to a Mexican potable.

And while they've never lost that sense of play, their latest record marks a mature progression in an already solid career. On Modern Vampires of the City, Vampire Weekend tend toward a cruising speed, using regal harpsichord and piano, spoken word, measured rhythms, gospel notes and balladry. It's a refreshing, reflective tone that lets the band slow down, look out the window, and take stock of where they are, professionally... and who they want to be, personally... all channeled through lyrical themes of mortality, religion, love and lost opportunities.

But that's not to suggest this band is out of the fast lane. On Modern Vampires of the City, they counter-balance the pensive with forays into punk and rockabilly, and forward-leaning effects like vocal modifier and drum machine. It is a modern record in every sense of the word, and a sure sign that this band is so much more than the sum of their influences.

Vampire Weekend were our special live musical guests at Q LIVE in New York City earlier this year. Stream their appearance above, and watch them perform live below.


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