Vampire Weekend's new album, Contra, pulses with international sounds plucked from Jamaica, Rio, Mali, and beyond. In the year it took to make the record, the cheekily preppy indie-rock foursome from Brooklyn did some globe-trotting of their own. Singer Ezra Koenig and keyboardist Rostam Batmanglij recall the food, the clothes, and the martinis they fell in love with along the way.


Vinegar Hill House
ROSTAM: "It's right near our studio, and it's the best restaurant in Brooklyn. There's a flaky chicken potpie I get." 72 Hudson Ave., Brooklyn, 718-522-1018;

EZRA: "Next time you're in downtown L.A., check out this small Oaxacan chain. The mole sauce is incredible." 33371/2 W. 8th St., Los Angeles, 213-427-0601;

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Mercer Club Polos from Ralph Lauren
EZRA: "Last year, Polo started covering shirts with big letters, horses, fake crests, and emblems again. They're a throwback to that early-nineties era."

Issey Miyake Pour Homme deodorant
ROSTAM: "My mom got it for me when I was younger, and I can't stop using it."

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The Spotted Pig
EZRA: "We got pretty heavy into dirty martinis. One of the most interesting ones I had was here, with red-olive juice." 314 W. 11th St., New York, 212-620-0393;

EZRA: "This is a cantina-slash-community center for old men—like a Mexican VFW hall—although hipster kids are working their way in." Puebla 121, Colonia Roma Norte, Mexico City, 55-5533-2922

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Operation Ivy, Operation Ivy (HellCat/Epitaph)
EZRA: "It's time for a ska revival. We wanted Contra to be a California album, but I wasn't thinking about the Eagles so much as stuff like this."

Alka Yagnik and Laxmikant-Pyarelal, Ek Do Teen Char (T-Series)
ROSTAM: "I was rummaging on iTunes for Bollywood hits, and this came up. It's great—it has drums and crazy, distorted guitars."

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