(Proving great minds think alike, I wrote this a few days ago after learning about the band but hadn't posted it yet. Then I saw Buddha Den wrote about them too. So, here's my take as well!)
Perhaps it is the influence of Brooklyn sounds on the Midwest, but I'm not so sure.
Lately, I read about Chicago band The Interiors and its new self-titled release.
Here is a nice interview the Chicago Daily Herald did, HERE.
What strikes me so much about The Interiors is that they take those African rhythms made "hip" by such transparent luminaries such as Vampire Weekend, but they do it in a much more subtle way. Not only that, but they incorporate the feel into their own sound.
What I specifically hate about Vampire Weekend is the band's blatant disregard for being unique. They are simply stealing what Paul Simon did in the 1960s and stealing what Peter Gabriel did in the 1980s and then adding a Strokes feel to it. It's ham-fisted and boring to me.
But check out The Interiors at its Myspace page and give them a listen.
For those in the Columbus and Indiana scenes, you might hear a kindred spirit of their song writing approach in the soon-to-be-defunct Miranda Sound. Both bands have a similar vocal style and angular aspect, with a broader melodic pop cap on top. But Miranda Sound adds a bit more of a two-vocal interplay element.
What is even more amazing about The Interiors, as you will know from reading that link I posted, their guitarist almost chopped his finger off a while back and had to undergo extensive rehab to keep playing. But he succeeded in recovery and apparently is getting more fluid as the days go by.
On a side note: Something that scares me about the African rhythms creeping into the Midwest indie rock scene is that it gives too much credit to what is going on in Brooklyn and not enough to what is going on around these parts.
Either that, or it shows that musicians might care too much about looking to New York for guidance instead of coming up with their own unique voice.
Fortunately, for now, The Interiors have succeeded in accomplishing its use of the stylistic rhythms in a new way. Even better, they did it much more affectively than Vampire Weekend.
But I'm telling you, if I start seeing Midwest bands using more than one drum kit I'm going to start laying into people. I'm already seeing bands with singers hitting snare drums and shit.
Don't give in to the hipness, musicians, just try harder to do your own thing.