Vampire Weekend is one of the most unabashedly preppy bands today. Although their funky and catchy tunes showcase a mashup of instruments, influences, and ideas, preppy references dominate most of their hits. Songs like “Walcott” and “Oxford Comma” show that Vampire Weekend love the preppy things in life, and want to share it with the world. Here’s what solidifies their status in the Prep Hall of Fame:
Vampire Weekend Escape to the Cape
Cape Cod is the go-to summer destination for preps. Vampire Weekend has only made three albums but there are a dozen songs that reference Cape Cod, including “Walcott” and “Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa.” Lead singer Ezra Koenig doesn’t just name-check Cape Cod, he gets specific and gives a shout out to Wellfleet and Provincetown, suggesting he knows his way around the Cape.
Vampire Weekend Love Art and Architecture
Art and architecture is as ingrained in the preppy lifestyle as the crests on our Ivy League blazers. Vampire Weekend sings about the mansard roof, a style of architecture commonly found in New England, as well as minimalist sculptor Richard Serra. Members of the Talking Heads may have gone to RISD, but they didn’t name drop artists like they were hobnobbing with Andy Warhol at the Factory.
Vampire Weekend's Music is like Haute Bourgeoisie Film
Featuring harpsichords and gospel pianos, and showcasing strong Afropop influences, Vampire Weekend’s songs are as distinctly quaint and precious as Wes Anderson’s diorama settings and Whit Stillman’s dialogue. These eclectic filmmakers, along with Woody Allen, form the trifecta of preppy cinema. Vampire Weekend's unique style could be a soundtrack for any of these filmmakers next masterpiece.
Vampire Weekend Live the Preppy Lifestyle
Vampire Weekend escaped NYC and wrote their third album at a saltbox cottage on Martha’s Vineyard, which is one of the preppiest destinations on the Eastern Seaboard. In fact, if you take a lap around your Edgartown summer party to freshen up the guests’ drinks, you might even see members of the band playing croquet or slapping dominoes with those lacrosse guys from Brown.
Vampire Weekend Admire Good Diction
“Oxford Comma” is a song about grammar that has the power to get even the most firmly planted wallflower out on the dance floor. To think Vampire Weekend’s tune is a critique of linguistic imperialism and 19th century intellectuals who favored structure over content –now that’s a cocktail hour conversation that all preppies love.
Vampire Weekend Appreciate Classy Etiquette
“The lobster’s claws are sharp as knives” is a lyric from the song "Walcott." It's also why preps favor lobster rolls over cracking boiled lobsters. Wearing a lobster bib over an Oxford shirt is a classless fashion foible, especially if you’re trying to woo a party host into accepting an invitation to America's Cup.
Vampire Weekend Revere Ivy League Lyrics
The references in Vampire Weekend's songs come as fast and furious as a New England Nor’easter. It’s like playing six degrees of Kevin Bacon, but instead of connecting Kevin Bacon to other actors, you connect lyrical references to liberal arts classes. Some references are geographical –Angkor Wat, Astor, Babylon -while others are esoteric: Dies Irae, Dar es Salaam, Dome of the Rock.
Along with wooden tennis rackets, flirting, and drinking Pimm's on the lawn, preps love educated lyrics. Put Vampire Weekend on the stereo and you'll not only have every prep on the East Coast showing up at the door, but you might lure the mermaids out of the sea, too.