To the untrained eye, Vampire Weekend can still look like the archetypal salmon-pants rockers they've been getting labeled as since 2008. Sporting Ray-Bans and boasting Ivy League degrees, Ezra Koenig, Rostam Batmanglij, Chris Baio, and Chris Tomson began by making tempting easy listening, stringing African percussion, indie pop, and highbrow lyricism together on a debut album that got them critical acclaim and impressive success. Vampire Weekend has released two albums since—2010's Contra, and this year's Modern Vampires of the City, and they've mastered the unique lane they've carved out for themselves.
One indication of the band's greatness is the fact that there is no obvious list of best songs—every fan has their favorites, every fan would make a different best-of list. Here's ours. Disagree? Then let us know your favorites. But there's no denying that from the carousel organs of "Oxford Comma" to Ezra's from-the-rooftops nostalgia in the second half of "Hannah Hunt," Vampire Weekend has quietly become the soundtrack for a generation of overeducated, underemployed, and wildly optimistic millennials.Click to start the list