New Vampire Weekend – “Horchata”

By Amrit Singh / October 5, 2009 - 2:33 pm

You guys made some very educated guesses about what Vampire Weekend’s been counting down to all day. Some of them were even right! (The rest of you will just have to wait for a VW clothing line.) At the strike of zero, ithinkuracontra.com swiftly redirected to vampireweekend.com (again), where the band is offering up this free download of Contra‘s opening track, “Horchata.” In the band’s Progress Report, Rostam told Jessica it was the track he was most pleased with, and one that abandoned guitars entirely in favor of kalimba, marimba, and a Yamaha VSS-30 he got on eBay. He explained:

You sing one note into [the VSS-30] and it maps it across the keyboard. Then it wavers in this way that lets you play melodies that automatically have an evocative quality to them, because the pitch is wavering so much. And ‘Horchata’ is also a song that’s driven by background vocals, like a texture, and nothing on our first record has that happening.

And if you’re wondering what horchata is, you need to brush up on your rice and nut drinks. Listen for the wavers, the strings, and the lack of guitar:

Vampire Weekend – “Horchata” (MP3)

Contra is out 1/12 via XL. And here’s some new tourdates for you:

10/06 – Montreal, QC @ Le National
10/08 – Toronto, ON @ Horseshoe Tavern
10/15 – London, UK @ King’s College
10/22 – Paris, FR @ Nouveau Casino
11/02 – Long Beach, CA @ The Art Theater
11/05 – Pioneertown, CA @ Pappy and Harriet’s
11/07 – Lafayette, CA @ Town Hall Theatre
11/08 – Santa Cruz, CA @ Catalyst
11/09 – Visalia, CA @ The Cellar Door
11/10 – San Luis Obispo, CA @ Downtown Brew
11/12 – Bakersfield, CA @ Chencho’s
11/14 – Lomita, CA @ VFW Hall
11/17 – Tokyo, JAP @ Tokyo Unit
11/21 – Sydney, AUS @ Oxford Art Factory