Label
Global Music IND
Release date
27 Oct 2010
Running length
10 tracks
Running time
36:36

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Tracklist

    Track     Duration Listeners
1 Horchata 3:27 409,471
2 White Sky 2:59 410,739
3 Holiday 2:18 396,227
4 California English 2:29 300,674
5 Taxi Cab 3:56 293,046
6 Run 3:52 304,986
7 Cousins 2:25 401,562
8 Giving up the Gun 4:46 392,589
9 Diplomat's Son 5:58 201,474
10 I Think Ur a Contra 4:26 257,072

About this album

Contra is the second album by American indie rock band Vampire Weekend, released in January 2010 on XL Recordings. It debuted at number one on the Billboard Hot 200. The album title is intended as a thematic allegory and a complex reference to the Nicaraguan counter-revolutionaries, the 1980 The Clash album Sandinista!, and partially to the Contra video game.

Music and lyrics

The lyrics of “I Think UR a Contra” include the phrase “Complete Control”, the title of a Clash single (notably, an influential 1980 triple album by The Clash was entitled Sandinista! after the socialist militancy opposed by the Contras during the Nicaraguan civil war). This refers partially to the controversy surrounding their punk roots. The title “Diplomat’s Son” is a reference to a story singer Ezra Koenig wrote about in boarding school, though the content lyrically talks about a homosexual relationship told by Rostam Batmanglij. The song also features a vocal sample from M.I.A.’s “Hussel”. “Holiday” begins with the opening lyrics of Fairport Convention’s 1969 rendition of Matty Groves.
Koenig has stated in multiple interviews that the album contains lyrical themes of opposition consistent with its title, and feels it is important to understand that the word “Contra” is a fundamental concept of conflict, without any implication that one side is right or wrong. The lyrics of Contra are also meant to express a desire to be compassionate even towards people and things you disagree with.

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