Every Vampire Weekend record is a unique extension and evolution of its previous work, all while maintaining the band’s signature sound. The group’s latest, “Modern Vampires of the City,” has received the most radioplay of any Vampire Weekend release yet. Want more? With VW’s popularity continuing to climb, here are five other bands that in some way, shape, or form could please the ears of Vampire Weekend fans.
Check out previous editions of “Hearing Aid,” our column taking bands you may like and offering other options:
Surfy and vibrant, there’s a bit more haze and relaxation involved in the warm pop melodies of Santa Monica’s Cayucas, especially in comparison to the jolty stop-and-go vibe of Vampire Weekend. The beachy bop of the band’s hooks travels back to earlier Vampire Weekend jams like “Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa,” making for a feel-good ambience that could still translate with crowds that dig bands like The Drums or Smith Westerns.
Pretty & Nice
Local quartet Pretty & Nice has been kicking around about as long as Vampire Weekend, which makes it all the more coincidental that the two bands share common stylistic ground. But it also speaks to the inventiveness of one of Boston’s own. Complex guitar leads that match disjointed chord progressions make for the perfect dose of pop charm. With a caffeinated pace making for frenzied live shows, Pretty & Nice has a formula that’s a bit harder-nosed than VW, but definitely comparable.
Another Boston act, Kid Mountain broke out late last year with its debut full-length “Happies.” With an emphasis on percussion that shuffles and high-pitched vocals, it finds a perfect balance between the energized bounce of Born Ruffians and the reverbed jangle of Real Estate. Its sunny vibes once again harken to early Vampire Weekend, but the diced up grooves take enough chances to spread the band’s sound beyond the category of surf-pop.
Gardens & Villa
Santa Barbara quintet Gardens & Villa may appear as the wild card in this bunch, with the guitar mostly taking a backseat and plenty of doses of silence throughout its tracks. But the similarity is most apparent in the vocal style of Christopher Lynch, whose falsetto can run wild like Ezra Koenig. While Gardens & Villa has only one album to its name, it can best be compared to the newer, more digitally experimental sounds of Vampire Weekend.
Louisiana quintet Givers is an exciting mash of influences, from its native zydeco and Cajun influences to more modern indie rock forms like STRFKR or Dirty Projectors (which could also easily be compared to VW). Similarly, Vampire Weekend has always drawn inspiration from African percussion and other foreign rhythms. It’s this open-mindedness that gives the two groups an upbeat sound and a cultural blend of the same ilk. While Taylor Guarisco’s voice could match up to Ezra Koenig’s, the vocal accompaniment of singer and percussionist Tiffany Lamson gives the band some stylistic diversity.
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For over a decade, Boston-based Bradley’s Almanac has stood out as both comprehensive and resourceful in an ever-deepening sea of music blogs. Brad Searles sat down with me for our latest edition of Six Songs, joining the ranks of past guests and local musical tastemakers TJ Connelly and Luke O’Neil. He even worked a theme of sorts: reunions. Click through for the segment and Brad’s playlist. More