Vampire Weekend’s New Video: One-Track “Cousins”

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Here’s the great thing about Vampire Weekend’s new video for “Cousins,” a track off of their forthcoming album, Contra: it makes the song better. The fact that bands are even making music videos — and good ones, as opposed to this bullshit — makes me happy. It’s a dying art (no thanks to MTV of all people, who gave it to us in the first place). So any effort put forth on this front, I can appreciate. But I’m still a little saddened by it. That doesn’t mean it’s not good! I’ve heard the album, I’ve got my reasons. Lemme explain. Contra spoilers, after the jump.

I guess I shouldn’t really be saying this. But let’s not call this a review, okay? Let’s call it, a, uh, music … fan’s perspective who happened to hear the Vampire Weekend album already. THIS IS NOT A CRITICAL APPRECIATION.

I am a big, big, big fan of Vampire Weekend’s new album. Believe me, I never thought I would say that. But I’m sad that they chose “Cousins” to be the first single after “Horchata.” And also: how can they have two singles when the album doesn’t come out for another two months? Do not get. I have a feeling the four songs they should make clips for — the epic “Giving Up the Gun,” the rainy-day hip hop of “Taxi Cab,” “Diplomat’s Son” (their longest song, an epic six minutes), and slow-burn album closer “I Think You’re a Contra” — will never see the light of music video. Just like I thought “Wolcott,” the most single-ready song off of Vampire Weekend’s debut album, would’ve made a great video-song. But they went with “Cousins,” the album’s seventh track, a Dick Dale-inspired skankin’ surf rock tear-through of a song. I liked the song before, but the clip, which keeps re-setting the band on a single track of steady-cam that moves with, out, and in on them, is a strangely wonderful, simple conceit. Say all about the Vampire Weekend “image” you want — and oh, believe me, I have — these guys definitely know how to put together a great clip. They’re not bad at making videos. Choosing the songs they make them for, though? Eh.

Anyway: “Cousins.” Not bad, right? For my least favorite track on the album, it’s still pretty great. This is the lowest-end of the standard you can get for Contra. I swear to god. Get excited: