Vampire Weekend California Dreamin' On Second Album

June 30, 2009 8:25 AM ET

Although their still-untitled second album is being recorded in a gritty, super-urban part of Brooklyn, Vampire Weekend say the record has a sunny vibe befitting locales far different than the outer borough of New York. "These songs would be perfect for driving up the Pacific coast," guitarist-keyboardist Rostam Batmanglij tells RS in our new issue, on stands now. Singer Ezra Koenig adds, "Or making an egg-white omelet. Basically, doing fresh things."

Rolling Stone visited the band at Brooklyn's Treefort Studios, where they've been nestled since January, just before they hit the booth to record some group clapping, which Koenig notes could really fit on any of the record's crisp, bright songs. "We're taking what we did on the first album to the next level," Koenig says. As on their self-titled debut, Afropop influences (this time more developed) reappear and Batmanglij is once again in the producer's chair. So what's different this time around? The band says they're able to concentrate on the music more. "When we wrote the first album, we all had jobs," bassist Chris Baio says. "This time, we're way more focused." The result: lyrical reference to highbrow and lowbrow topics including a trip to New York's Museum of Modern Art.

The album, expected out this fall, will likely feature the frenzied punk scramble of "California English," power ballad "Taxi Cab" and the polyrhythmic "White Sky," as well as one song that is — prepare yourself — "dead-on" reggae. "Maybe when we're done, I'll have the time to actually listen to the record on the Pacific coast," Batmanglij says as he tinkers with some arrangements. For much more on the highly anticipated second album from Vampire Weekend, be sure to check out the new issue of Rolling Stone, available now.

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