Vampire Weekend start off the year right with their new album, Contra

Ezra Koenig of Vampire Weekend performs live on stage during the Main Square Festival in Arras, France, July 5, 2008. (Lefevre Sylvain/Asa-Pictures/Abaca Press/MCT)

Two years ago, Vampire Weekend came into the music scene with a self-titled album and captivated listeners. At last, they have returned with their album, Contra, which is sure to be loved by fans.

Since their first album release, the group has been featured in magazines such as Rolling Stone for having the 10th best album of 2008. In New Musical Express’, otherwise known as NME magazine, “Top 100 Greatest Albums of the Decade”, they ranked at No. 42. Needless to say, this group of guys from New York has left an impression on the industry.

Vampire Weekend’s latest album will only serve to further boost it to stardom due to its catchy melodies, light, fun songs and amazing lyrics. The album starts off with the band’s first single, “Horchata”. Upon first listen, the song is reminiscent of “Under the Sea” from the Little Mermaid due to the xylophone usage. However, it soon takes on its own sound and turns into a song that might be played while lounging on a beach and drinking delicious beverages with little umbrellas.

As the first track fades into the second, it keeps that same light and happy sound. The album is guaranteed to make the listener feel good just by hearing the first few songs. The fourth track, “California English”, with its plucking bass-line and jumpy lyrics, stands apart from the other songs. Lead singer Ezra Koenig’s voice takes on an almost reggae sound, which goes nicely with the upbeat tune of the album.

The album takes a break from its fast-paced tendencies on the song “Taxi Cab”. The piano and violins in it almost make it sound like a lullaby, but it is far from a song that would put you to sleep. It flows like the previous songs the band has recorded while maintaining the maturity of the rest of the tracks on Contra.

The remaining songs pick up the tempo from “Taxi Cab”, making their way back towards the songs that kicked off the album. That’s not to say that these songs are just a repeat of earlier tracks in any way. They are more calm and collected rather than jumpy and excited.

The song “Cousins”, which was also released on an EP prior to the release of Contra, is similar to the song “A-Punk” off the group’s first album. Containing quickly sung phrases and spunky guitars, the song is infectious and happy and sounds like the anthem of some Californian surfer.

The album winds down with closing track “I Think Ur A Contra” and is the perfect end. Koenig croons the lyrics quietly as a small orchestra plays in the background, lulling the listener into a happy reverie.

To promote its new album, Vampire Weekend will begin touring in March. During the tour, they will make a stop in California to play at the Coachella music festival along with other big name artists such as Thom Yorke and Jay-Z with a stop at the House of Blues in Dallas on April 11th. It seems that Vampire Weekend has started off the year well with a great album and an amazing tour to come.