I was never really a big fan of Vampire Weekend’s first album. To me it was kind of like the Little Miss Sunshine of the indie music world: cute, endearing, and fun but lacking a whole lot of substance and not nearly as good as everyone made it out to be. For me the only real reason you would ever listen to it over and over again was if you were trying to score with a college undergrad.
On the other hand I’m really enjoying their second album, Contra. Even though it has only been out a little while I’ve already listened to it way more than I have their debut. The songs sound more dynamic, complex, and catchy. With this album I feel like they are finally starting to live up to the hype machine that arose before their first album even came out.
The second single from this album, Giving Up the Gun, is a favorite of mine and has a really neat video. Lots of great cameos, including the RZA as a line judge and Jake Gyllenhaal as a stiff competitor.
(By the way, did you catch them on SNL last night? They played one of the best musical guest sets I’ve heard in the last couple years.)
Next up is Goldfrapp’s new single off her upcoming album, Head First (out March 23st), called Rocket. One of the neat things about Goldfrapp is how their sound changes from album to album while still staying very recognizably Goldfrapp (probably because of Alison Goldfrapp’s unmistakeably unique voice). While their last album was more on the mellow, ethereal side, this new single sounds a lot like the 80’s electronic dance music that is coming out of Australia right now (think Cut Copy). The (slightly disturbing) video even looks a bit like she’s driving through the Outback in some sci-fi Aussie-sploitation movie.
After the break, two more videos. One from Rihanna doing her best M.I.A. impression and another from a band I’m sure you’ve never heard of.
Wolf Gang doesn’t have an album, album title or release day yet, but they do have some catchy singles and remixes out there for you to enjoy. Their newest demo, Back to Back, also has this cool video to go with it that’s a little different from the other videos I’m posting. This one feels a lot like a film major’s final video art project…but in a good way. I especially like the coloring of the stock war footage. Oh, and the song is catchy too.
Finally I’m posting a video with a song I don’t entirely love, but it has a cool enough concept that I just had to share anyway. Rihanna’s newest single, Rude Boy, isn’t bad but feels kind of lazy and is nowhere near one of her best songs. The video, on the other hand, is an Afro-Caribbean explosion of color and lion-riding. Great video.
I wonder where she got the idea???
(Seriously, though. They both even have the word "Boy" flashing on the screen and in the song title.)