More Book Learning From Vampire Weekend


Vampire Weekend is back with “Horchata,” the first single off their second album, Contra, due in January. Do they still have what it takes to divide indie rock fans? Given that their lead single is named for a semi-obscure Latin American rice-based beverage, uses the word “balaclava” instead of the more widely accepted “ski mask,” and gratuitously references Masada, the rock plateau near the Dead Sea where a group of Jewish rebels pursued by the Romans committed mass suicide in the year 72, we’d say yes. Musically, there’s not much new happening beyond the occasional vocal quiver from front man Ezra Koenig and little bursts of heavy drum-and-choral noise. Fans, rejoice; haters, keep hating.