Über Vampire Weekend
Despite a very gothic name, Vampire Weekend is actually a preppy indie-rock band from New York City. The quartet -- which includes singer Ezra Koenig, bassist Chris Baio, drummer Chris Tomson and keyboardist Rostam Batmanglij -- combines jangly rock and Afro-pop. Literate songwriting that's heavy on the happy vibes is combined with swirling guitars and African rhythms; imagine if Paul Simon had a World Studies-majoring love child with Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. Vampire Weekend formed in early 2006 while all four members were still attending Columbia University. Their self-released EP drew high praise from The New York Times, which called it one of 2007's best debuts. The band has since signed to XL Recordings, and its much-hyped first album was released in early 2008.