Rarely will you hear a band with a such an immensely diverse array of sounds as you hear with Vampire Weekend. Don’t believe me? Take the inspiration for this specific song for example. With light and whimsical instrumentals suggesting it to be playing in an environment similar to ballroom, would you expect that the song was inspired from 90’s hip-hop group Soul’s of Mischief’s song “Step To My Girl”? That’s right, a ballroom-esque song inspired by kick drum infused hip-hop. It may sound strange, but Soul’s of Mischief member Tajai noted after listening to the song that “I’d rather somebody interpolate and build from a concept than not. It’s crazy that we were never able to put that song out, so it’s interesting that they’re gonna profit from it. But it’s good to inspire good music.”
Good music indeed. Sure, this song may seem stuck in time to the point that upon first hearing it, you may question whether it was made in 2013 or 1950, but the instrumentals are just the half of it. Lead singer Ezra Koenig’s lyricism is downright poetic let alone informative. In varying vernacular and colloquial phrases, Koenig forms a conceptually fun but arduous piece of art that makes a music video focused on lyrics fairly entertaining. And seriously, could you tell me what/where Angkor Wat is? How about Dar es Salaam? Look, I didn’t know either until I first heard this song and thought “…What the hell were those words…?” Well friends, Dar es Salaam is the largest city by population in eastern Africa and Angkor Wat is a temple complex in Cambodia and the largest religious monument in the world. Didn’t expect a Friday afternoon social studies lesson now, did you?