To aid in the writing of their third album, Vampire Weekend changed their songwriting habits, trying out different techniques including leaving their home base of New York for chilly, sparsely populated environs of Martha’s Vineyard in early spring. The Massachusetts island’s reputation as a playground for the rich and famous is a fitting writing retreat for a band with a catalog that includes songs such as the Louis Vuitton-referencing “Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa.”
The trip was inspired in part because the album marked the first time the band had to sit down for songwriting sessions. With their first two releases — 2008’s “Vampire Weekend” (which exploded at that year’s SXSW in a surge of hype and hate) and 2010’s “Contra” — the group rode such a wave of attention, there wasn’t time to spend thinking about songs in that way. “It’s something that generally I’ve been averse to, because I don’t like anything that makes being in a band feel like a job,” said lead singer and guitarist Ezra Koenig. “Even though it is a job and we’re very lucky that we get to do it as a job, something about that professional mentality strikes me as the opposite of the environment that we started in, the pure excitement of making music.”
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Vampire Weekend at SXSW
5 p.m. Friday at the Radio Day Stage in the Austin Convention Center and 12:15 a.m. Saturday at Stubb’s, plus taping “Austin City Limits” at 8 p.m. Sunday.
More from the Northeast
King Tuff. Glammy garage rock and pop from Vermont with an impressive array of guitar moves (11:30 p.m. Friday at Bar 96 and 11:45 p.m. Saturday at Hotel Vegas).
Marnie Stern. Self-taught guitar wiz with an explosive and frantic playing style is set to release a new album, “The Chronicle of Marnia,” on which she promises a move away from the density of her past work. (10:15 p.m. Tuesday at Mohawk outdoor, 1 a.m. Thursday at Maggie Mae’s Gibson Room and 9 p.m. Friday on the Hotel Vegas Patio).
Yeah Yeah Yeahs. The new single from the New York-based trio sizzles with upper-register guitar work and Karen O’s doomy vocals (11 p.m. Wednesday at Stubb’s).
Phosphorescent. Matthew Houck moves away from the country sound of his last couple albums with the sprawling, emotional “Song For Zula,” the first single off his new album (10:15 Wednesday at the Hype Hotel; 11:55 p.m. Thursday on the Red 7 Patio; 9:30 pm. Friday at Bar 96).