catchy song of the moment: “Ottoman”


As far as I can tell, Vampire Weekend’s “Ottoman” — this moment’s catchy song — materialized out of thin air. Where else could it have come from?

“Ottoman” fails to appear on any albums or EPs — not even as a stupid iTunes bonus track — save a spot on the soundtrack for Nick & Nora’s Bogus Journey. (The song played during Nick & Nora’s credits, in what was presumably the film’s only tolerable moment.)

Despite said cinematic debut, “Ottoman” sounds more Wes Anderson than, um, whoever the fuck directed N&N. VW’s Anderson fanship has been evident from the start (Futura, hello), but this song really nails it; I can totally envision “Ottoman” — or at least an instrumental version — complementing a memorable “Let me tell you about my boat” sort of scene.

Is it genuine? A parody? Both? During the song, VW echoes “Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa” with the chorus-ender “But this feels so unnatural to Peter Gabriel too,” a line that could potentially mean something — or, I don’t know, the band might just be shooting for the Guinness World Record of Peter Gabriel shout outs. That added “to” is admittedly pretty goofy.

If this Gabriel business does possess a larger meaning, however, it might be to remind us of the dangers and/or phoniness inherent in class-hopping. In “Cape Cod” — my first sip of the Vampire Weekend koolaid, by the way — the rich girl feels all Peter-Gabriel-unnatural ditching Louis Vuitton for, um, linens. (Who wouldn’t?) And in “Ottoman,” an over-his-head protagonist realizes that his by-marriage aristocracy is ultimately a sham. Or at least full of perspiration.

Also, these lines—

Elegant clothes, you want to be seen with her
Under your tweeds you sweat like a teenager

—are just fantastic. They paint a whole picture. I want to steal them for a story.



About ebony

College dropout with a heart of aspartame, suffering from such interests as trigonometry, J.D. Salinger, and infamy. Probably not actually black.
This entry was posted in i like, movies, tuneage, video and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to catchy song of the moment: “Ottoman”

  1. irony says:

    I’m sorry, I feel like this is my fault: I should have introduced you to “Ottoman” long ago, my dearest partner in crimes of sass.

    Also, agreed. And maybe it’s just me, but I feel like Vampire Weekend kind of talks about tweeds and Cape Cod and linens and diplomats and their sons and smoking joints (so risque!), etc. as this kind of tongue in cheek thing. A kind of self mockery, per chance.

    Also V&V SUCKED and I was disappointed. Not in Michael Cera though. He always delivers as the exact same type of character. Except I didn’t buy him giving any girl orgasms, so there’s that.

    • ebony says:

      Hahaha. I was talking to Cool J, LL about how Michael Cera is going to look like an awkward high schooler for like 30 years and then immediately turn haggard. I can’t wait.

  2. Pingback: catchy song of the moment: “The Luckiest Guy on the Lower East Side” | ebony + irony.

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