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Vampire Weekend

Critics' pick
Photograph: Brendan Lester

Vampire Weekend aren’t phoneys. Firstly, they chose their name before the whole prepubescent Twilight craze kicked off. What’s more, they all studied musicology, making them that rare thing on today’s rock scene: a band who know their shit. Their music, a hybrid of pop, rock and South African influences which they’ve dubbed ‘Upper West Side Soweto’, certainly reveals a careful craft and intelligence. Their third album, Modern Vampires of the City, is chock-full of subtle, original songwriting. In fact, we'll now confidently call it the best pop-rock album of 2013. The fact that the band announced it in an innocuous classified in the New York Times only adds to their eccentric image.

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