Recognize this comely mystery girl? In recent weeks her portrait has appeared on various music blogs with no link or accompanying text. An ad for Ralph Lauren? Probably not. Cue viral buzz. In its second phase, the ad linked to, a page with nothing more than an enlarged version of the photo. And today, the big reveal: the URL redirects to Vampire Weekend’s site.

There you’ll find Kirsten soundtracked by a hazy, pretty instrumental

“I Think Ur A Contra.”

The indie popstars’ highly anticipated, Rostam-produced sophomore LP Contra will hit stores via XL on 1/12. That’s when we’ll discuss whether it’s the best album of 2010 so far or just the best viral marketing of 2009. Here’s the tracklist with some familiar titles:

01 “Horchata”
02 “White Sky”
03 “Holiday”
04 “California English”
05 “Taxi Cab”
06 “Run”
07 “Cousins”
08 “Giving Up the Gun”
09 “Diplomat’s Son”
10 “I Think Ur A Contra”

VW performed some of the tunes for a forthcoming Unplugged. XL also promises “more exciting news and media in the coming weeks.”

UPDATE: Here’s some live footage of “Run” (thanks caps).

Comments (62)
  1. hey, it’s about time

  2. let the haters hate. One of my most anticipated albums of 2010.

  3. Caps  |   Posted on Sep 15th, 2009 0

    They played Cousins & Run in Paris 2 weeks go, and it was pretty awesome, can’t wait for this !
    But they used to play that song called “Little giant”, not gonna be on this, or did they change the name of this song ? Arghhh… can’t wait…

  4. Verbatim  |   Posted on Sep 15th, 2009 0

    Blah, I thought it was a Ralph Lauren ad, so I am actually relieved. Although the girl is pretty, her blank star is kind of annoying.

  5. looking forward to the new album, but, what’s with the product placement? kinda kitsch, no?

  6. I have this horrible feeling that Contra will be the next “Room On Fire”. I hope that isn’t the case.

    • Nick  |   Posted on Sep 15th, 2009 0

      You mean you actually want their second album to be extremely underrated and full of brilliant pop songs? That’s weird.

    • Blake  |   Posted on Jan 5th, 2010 0

      If Contra IS the next “Room on Fire”, then what a gift for all true music lovers. Room on Fire was perfect. So shut the fuck up.

  7. Parker Buckley the #rd  |   Posted on Sep 15th, 2009 0

    That was clever PR…I’m assuming they fired whoever they had before…Would have been wiser if the album was going to come out next week…

    • PR  |   Posted on Sep 15th, 2009 0

      I love it when people think they know what they’re talking about.

      This is marketing, not PR. And beyond that, I doubt they’ve fired anybody. Last album was a smash success on all fronts. If heads rolled after that campaign nobodies job is safe.

      • Demolition Man or 2000 lb Bee  |   Posted on Sep 15th, 2009 0

        I only could bring myself to finally play the thing last May…I’m the public and that’s how I related…bring back the Village Voice!


    There’s the URL for the loop on the site.

    There’s a high quality view of the girl, who is apparently named kirtsten. Or maybe kirsten spelled wrong.

  9. Nick Jonas (spy)  |   Posted on Sep 15th, 2009 0

    I’m confident that “Contra” will sound just like “Vampire Weekend.” I’m also confident that Vampire Weekend’s 17th album will sound just like “Vampire Weekend.”

  10. Finally something worth posting. Greatly anticipating this album even though I’ve heard almost half the songs during live performances.

  11. adam  |   Posted on Sep 15th, 2009 0

    This album cover is so overrated and derivative.

  12. Chadams  |   Posted on Sep 15th, 2009 0

    Looks kinda like Katherine Heigl to me.

  13. Kirsten > Alice Cooper

  14. I have been pretty indifferent to the Vampire Weekend phenomenon (re: i don’t like or dislike them).
    But that viral marketing definitely nudged me a bit into the “dislike” camp.

  15. Lux  |   Posted on Sep 15th, 2009 0

    So…does this mean that more people are starting to use the word “comely”?

  16. Great marketing concept to build discussion around a concept. I wonder whether they’d have had the same impact if they’d use a male, though..

  17. I really hope Little Giant is on this as a new song name, it was one of my favorites of the new songs they played live
    Little Giant had the word ‘california’ in it, so maybe its california english?

  18. The girl on the cover could be a young Marcia Cross? ? Contra might be released earlier right after it leaks around Thanksgiving.

  19. got to see them perform a few of the new songs at an MTV UNPLUGGED taping over the summer. really great and catchy songs. i really dug it!

  20. drew  |   Posted on Sep 16th, 2009 0

    man, that’s definitely NOT marcia cross. marcia cross is like 50- that woman is not.

  21. Screw all haters. I goddamn love Vampire Weekend. More is good.

  22. FINALLY! I can only listen to their debut album so many times before i start wanting more more more!!!

  23. massromantic  |   Posted on Sep 17th, 2009 0

    ugh. seriously, bands who virally market themselves are such a turnoff.

    and stupid question, but….

    what does “contra” mean, outside of a radio sales term? “i think ur a contra”? what does that even mean?

    and who says “ur” anymore?


  24. Regular Guy  |   Posted on Sep 17th, 2009 +1

    This site is awesome. But the commenters on this site are a bunch of pretentious assholes, who think they are the higher power on all things music. They like to shit all over musicians, when in reality they probably dont have a creative bone in their body.

  25. Bill  |   Posted on Sep 17th, 2009 0

    These guys have a lot to live up to considering how good the second Tapes n Tapes album is.

  26. edog  |   Posted on Sep 17th, 2009 0

    America’s greatest Police cover band is back for more!

  27. SCUD MISSLE REVIVAL  |   Posted on Sep 17th, 2009 0


  28. Rio Bravo  |   Posted on Sep 17th, 2009 0

    The girl on the cover looks like 80s actress Betsy Russell.

  29. Black Jesus  |   Posted on Sep 17th, 2009 0

    So when they say “I think ur a contra”, do they think the person in present company is a member of a counterrevolutionary guerrilla group in Nicaragua?

  30. Vampire Weekend is very catchy, but it doesn’t go much further than that. Don’t you expect something deeper and more meaningful from an album that you’re ‘highly anticipating’ for another half year?

  31. *Edit*
    another third of a year

  32. She looks just like young Christie Brinkley!
    Can’t wait for this album. Although, I think it seems a bit strange that it’ll come out in January. I only listen to VW in the summer. January is for Bon Iver-type sounds…

  33. i dont know what viral marketing is. i also dont care. i loved the first record. i am sure this record will be great as well. i think the cover artwork is great.

  34. dude  |   Posted on Sep 19th, 2009 0

    sigh……..another year of boat shoes in NY

  35. anonymous  |   Posted on Sep 19th, 2009 0

    “Don’t you expect something deeper and more meaningful from an album that you’re ‘highly anticipating’ for another half year?”

    Uh…no? Why should we? So if you aren’t expecting an album to be the biggest artistic revelation of all time you’re not allowed to think “I look forward to hearing that album, it should be an enjoyable listen” more than a week before it comes out? What a dumb comment.

    • Ultimately, I hope Contra shows growth and variation from the first album, and from the few songs I’ve heard, it doesn’t seem like it will. But if it’s selling, why change?

  36. Anonymous  |   Posted on Sep 20th, 2009 0

    These two comments pretty much sum up the high level of critical debate between VW skeptics and fans:

    VW Skeptic: “Don’t you expect something deeper and more meaningful from an album that you’re ‘highly anticipating’ for another half year?”

    VW Fan: “Uh…no? Why should we?”

    • In actuality, it is not a critical debate. Those who pose the idea of music as having to have to a deeper meaning are merely those who cannot find joy in what they believe to be simple. But really, it’s more of a argument that falls within the purview of your conundrums of philosophy….see what I did there?

  37. Bootyfish  |   Posted on Sep 21st, 2009 0

    is that the chick from Charles in Charge???

  38. skip  |   Posted on Sep 22nd, 2009 0

    I liked Ghostface’s RUN a lot more

  39. Vampire Weekend OFFICIAL fan  |   Posted on Sep 22nd, 2009 0

    You guys are insane, Vampire Weekend had the most perfect first album. The anticipation is that will the second album make me feel the same way. They started this new sound, and added great DEEP meaningful lyrics. Of course you don’t want the second album to be exactly like the first album, but you don’t want it to be completely different either. I would like to think they have lyrics that I can relate to like that last album; cape cod, college, nyc, love, and love lost. Their fun songs are indeed catchy, which is what everyone from the start is attracted to. I want the leak now, I look everyday for this freaking leak… and nothing. Ultimately you guys have the choice to like or dislike Vampire Weekend, but most of you sound ignorant in bashing them. There is no debate, Vampire Weekend is what it is, Perfect.

  40. Vamp  |   Posted on Sep 22nd, 2009 0

    Gorgeous…She looks like Kate Moss..

  41. Spikelee3000  |   Posted on Sep 22nd, 2009 0

    “Giving Up The Gun” or “Giving Up Da Gun” as it used to be called was streaming online under the “L’homme Run” myspace page (Ezra’s old hip-hop duo) for the longest time but then it was mysteriously removed one day. This answers that question.

  42. Skip  |   Posted on Sep 22nd, 2009 0

    Nah…She’s not as good-looking as Kate Moss…

  43. GrossedOut  |   Posted on Sep 22nd, 2009 0

    Does anyone REALLY know if the t-shirt manufacturer is getting paid for this…?!

  44. Whatever  |   Posted on Sep 26th, 2009 0

    You’re all incredibly out of your damn minds. Calm the fuck down and enjoy their amazing music. It is what it is and however they choose to incorporate their new shit will most definitely be the same way as they did it with their first album.

  45. T-monie  |   Posted on Oct 2nd, 2009 0

    I’m gonna be bold and guess it’s a young Pamela Anderson. Call me crazy, but the lead singer said in an interview that it was from 1983, and that the girl currently lives in Malibu, California.

  46. saul good  |   Posted on Dec 4th, 2009 0

    yep, you’re crazy. not pamela anderson

  47. Deadly Spark  |   Posted on Jan 21st, 2010 0

    I think the girl on the cover is Bridgit Mendler, a Disney star who plays a vampire role in wizards of waverly place.

  48. steven c  |   Posted on Feb 5th, 2010 0

    I think the girl looks very much like the actress who plays Veronica Mars. It just so happens that her name is KRISTEN Bell. Just saying! ;-)

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