New York's Polo-sporting pop masters Vampire Weekend are back, and they're dipping their ladle even deeper into a mishmash of cross-cultural influences on "Horchata," the first official release from their forthcoming sophomore set, Contra (out Jan. 12 via XL Recordings). The song is available as a free download right here.
The track is a total globetrotter, both sonically and lyrically. Ezra Koenig's reverb-drenched vocals lead a bubbly brew of sub-Saharan rhythms, marimbas, flutes, strings, and tabla-esque percussion -- plus name-checks of fruity Latino beverages (horchata, aranciata), Holy Land sites (Masada), and beachy images of sandals and pincher crabs.
Decidedly missing: audible guitars. But this burst of optimistic summertime memories -- "Here comes a feeling you thought you'd forgotten," goes the refrain -- isn't at all worse for their omission.
Download the track and decide for yourself: Is "Horchata" a refreshing taste of sunshine or a little sickly sweet for your palate? Sound off below.