Vampire Weekend is an American indie rock band from New York City. After signing to XL Records, Vampire Weekend has released two albums so far, each two years apart.
Vampire Weekend formed in 2006, after all the band members graduated from Columbia University. The name is derived from an independent film made by the lead singer, Ezra Koenig. Ian Montone, manager of The White Stripes became Vampire Weekend's manager, shortly after they signed to XL Records.
The band gained attention via a variety of blogs, such as Stereogum. The band is influenced by both African popular music and Western classical music, describing their genre of music as "Upper West Side Soweto", with such songs as "Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa" referencing Congolese soukous music.
In 2007, Vampire Weekend's song "Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa" was ranked 67th on Rolling Stone's list of the '100 Best Songs of the Year'. In November 2007, they toured the Netherlands with The Shins. They were declared "The Year's Best New Band" by Spin magazine in the March 2008 issue, and were the first band to be shot for the cover of the magazine before releasing their debut album. Four songs from the band's first album also made the Triple J Hottest 100, 2008. The band's debut album Vampire Weekend was released January 29, 2008. It was a success in the US and UK, peaking at number 15 on the UK Albums Chart and number 17 on the Billboard 200. Four singles were released from the album; while "A-Punk" peaked at number 25 on the Billboard Modern Rock chart and number 55 on the UK Singles Chart, "Oxford Comma" peaked at number 38 in the UK. "A-Punk" was ranked the 4th on Rolling Stone's list of Best Songs in 2008.
Vampire Weekend's second album, Contra, became another triumph for the band, as they ranked #1 on the Billboard 200. The band also did a live acoustic performance on MTV Unplugged. They also played on Saturday Night Live, performing Cousins and Giving Up The Gun, and were later interviewed on the Colbert Report.
Ezra Koenig – lead vocals, guitar
Rostam Batmanglij – keyboards, guitar, backing vocals
Chris Tomson – drums, percussion
Chris Baio – bass guitar, backing vocals