Okay, It's Time to Stop Saying Vampire Weekend Sounds Like Afropop (or Graceland)
Songs like "Step" and "Ya Hey" are built around those parts, courtesy multi-instrumentalist/writer/composer Rostam Batmanglij, but this facet of their sound has been around from the beginning. It's helpful, then, that Vampire Weekend has already used the appropriate costumes in a music video:
At this point, three albums in, they just sound like Vampire Weekend. It turns out -- to my minor disappointment -- that the bright guitars aren't so immutable a part of that as the fussy arrangements, or the weird samples, or the precise lyrics. Maybe now we can finally figure out what to call everything that's left.