Vanity Fair profiles Ann Kirsten Kennis, the Contra Girl
Vampire Weekend formed in 2006, when its four members were students at Columbia University. Their self-titled first album, released in 2008, was a staggering success by indie-rock standards, selling 558,000 copies and landing the band on the cover of Spin magazine. Every act needs a gimmick, and Vampire Weekend’s is ingeniously straightforward. In a music scene dominated by rebels of every description, they play the ultimate conformists, performing in Ivy League–style getups: Oxford shirts, boat shoes, chinos, cardigans.
Some rock fans consider this tantamount to sacrilege, and Vampire Weekend seems to have been simultaneously jabbing its critics and sending a winking message to its fans when the band began teasing its upcoming album with a photograph of the ultimate prepster: blond hair, blue eyes, popped collar. “It’s a fuck-you,” keyboardist Rostam Batmanglij told Vanity Fair in 2009, “to all the people who are waiting to analyze our band in a superficial way.”