Ryan Foley

Ryan Foley

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SeattleWeekly

Indie Rock Didn'’t Lose Its Soul in 2008

Who knew back in January that when Vampire Weekend tinkered with the guitar-driven dance rhythms of soukous on its self-titled debut, the band would set the tone for the next 12 months? In many ways, 2008 was the year Afropop fully cracked the American music landscape. This sort of appropriation is anything but novel: Western artists have long been partial to popular music from the motherland, among them David Byrne, Brian Eno, and Paul Simon, who on Graceland introduced Americans to native South African sounds.