The year was 2008. Prep style was in its resurgence. A Continuous Lean started the year prior, and was becoming a leader amongst the #Menswear blogs. Rugby Ralph Lauren was at the height of its popularity, and J.Crew opened The Liquor Store. The stock market wouldn’t crash until September 29th, and everyone was enjoying the ride. A soundtrack was required to take us through the summer of linen and madras. Vampire Weekend’s first album fit the bill nicely.
I remember my first listen to the album which kicked off with Mansard Roof. From the very start, the song and the album had a feel to it that was unlike anything else I’d ever heard to this point. It’s not really rock, nor is it really bossa nova. There’s a certain hurriedness to it all even though the majority of the lyrics take a more laid back approach. The second song, and first single Oxford Comma perfectly captured the sophisticated, yet nonchalant feel of the time.
The world would change at the end of the summer, and the two follow up albums Contra (2010) and Modern Vampire of the City (2011) never quite captured the feel of the first. The economy would eventually recover, and last summer they released probably their best work since the first album, a record called Father of the Bride. Dare I say it may even be better (musically) than the first?
One of the greatest things about music is that is can capture the feel and trigger memory of a specific time or place. The first Vampire Weekend album does just that for me. What record will remind me of the time we are in now? I wonder…