Since the 40’s, one of the coolest things you could be in music was working class. Run-DMC actually made it cool to wear jeans that didn’t fit and Morrissey single-handedly made NHS glasses fashionable; so what in the name of common decency were these four proud Ivy-league students doing, wearing warm woolly jumpers, posing in front of cricket clubs and singing about universities that you’re far too poor to afford? Despite being almost undeniably the whitest band you’ve ever heard, they can write songs like nobody’s business. Raised on classical music and African pop music, their debut sounds completely fresh and original (despite sharing some traits with Paul Simon’s ‘Graceland’) and above all, more infectious than a cholera outbreak in a steam room. If you don’t recognise the opening riff from ‘A-Punk’ when you hear it, you may need to see a doctor. Catchy-ness isn’t necessary to make great record, but once the album’s finished you can remember most of the riffs and choruses and you’ll want to play it again straight away.
Somehow – despite being middle-to-upper class enough to remark that their English Breakfast tea tastes like Darjeeling – Vampire Weekend’s debut is charming, fresh, lively and an absolute wine-and-dine on all that is good and right in modern chirpy guitar pop.
Listen to this: with friends, at university
Key track: Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa