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Vampire Weekend Unload New Song "Horchata," Tour Dates

October 5, 2009 4:09 PM ET

Vampire Weekend are offering up "Horchata," the opening song off their January 12th album Contra, as a free download over at their official Website today. The band has been all viral lately while promoting their second record, and the lead-up to "Horchata" was no different, with their IThinkUrAContra Website mounting a countdown clock that revealed the free download when the zeroes hit today at 2:30 p.m. EST.

"Horchata" has all the markings of a Vampire Weekend song: The polyrhythmic influences, xylophones and strings that build until crescendo, the pop sensibilities and lyrics ripped from the Sunday New York Times crossword puzzle. And maybe it's because we keep staring at the beautiful, screensaver-worthy coastline picture featured on the VW site now, but "Horchata" does have that air of California breeziness that Vampire Weekend told Rolling Stone they were trying to capture on Contra when we spoke to them earlier this year.

As a tribute to the Golden State, which served as a major inspiration for Ezra Koenig and VW as they recorded their new disc, the band will play eight shows in assorted Californian cities in November. Check out the dates below:
Oct. 6 - Montreal, QC @ Le National
Oct. 8 - Toronto, ON @ Horseshoe Tavern
Nov. 2 - Long Beach, CA @ The Art Theater
Nov. 5 - Pioneertown, CA @ Pappy and Harriet's
Nov. 7 - Lafayette, CA @ Town Hall Theatre
Nov. 8 - Santa Cruz, CA @ Catalyst
Nov. 9 - Visalia, CA @ The Cellar Door
Nov. 10 - San Luis Obispo, CA Downtown Brew
Nov. 12 - Bakersfield, CA @ Chencho's
Nov. 14 - Lomita, CA @ VFW Hall

Related Stories:
Vampire Weekend's New Album "Contra" Out January 12th
Vampire Weekend California Dreamin' On Second Album

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Song Stories

“Bird on a Wire”

Leonard Cohen | 1969

While living on the Greek island of Hydra, Cohen was battling a lingering depression when his girlfriend handed him a guitar and suggested he play something. After spotting a bird on a telephone wire, Cohen wrote this prayer-like song of guilt. First recorded by Judy Collins, it would be performed numerous times by artists incuding Johnny Cash, Joe Cocker and Rita Coolidge. "I'm always knocked out when I hear my songs covered or used in some situation," Cohen told Rolling Stone. "I've never gotten over the fact that people out there like my music."

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