The former Vampire Weekend member will release his debut solo album, Half-Light on Sept. 8th, via Nonesuch
Known for his work with Vampire Weekend, Rostam Batmanglij, has set out to venture onwards from one of the most well-known indie bands of the last decade-plus. In fact, to refer to Rostam’s time spent with VW as “work” is putting it lightly – Rostam’s influence on the band is immense. Without his songwriting, composing, and production, it’s safe to say that Vampire Weekend wouldn’t be as highly regarded as they have been over the course of three full length albums.
In the last year and a half since his announced separation from Vampire Weekend, Rostam has kept busy producing other artists’ music, including three of our top albums last year: Solange’s A Seat at the Table, Frank Ocean’s Blonde, and his collaborative album with Hamilton Leithauser. Earlier this year, Rostam released a stellar new song, “Gwan” – a track beaming with so much energy, you could practically hear him smiling through your speakers.
Now Rostam prepares for the release of his debut album, Half-Light, set for release on September 8th via Nonesuch Records. He states in a release about the album and its inspiration:
It wasn’t until I had almost finished this album and was trying to decide what I should call it that I took the time to look up the word ’half-light.’ That lyric, and a large part of that song “Half-Light”, had come to me in a stream of consciousness sitting in front of a piano years ago, captured in a voice memo on my phone. I had never stopped to figure out what that word meant exactly. But when I read its definition, and found that it had a double meaning–that it referred to both dawn and dusk–I started to think of how those times of day are part of so many lyrics on this album.
I was also struck by the fact that it was a word with a double meaning. That felt important to this record. It made me think back to a friend in Japan who told me that the word ’double’ was becoming more and more popular than ’half’ for people to describe their split ethnicities. Any person growing up in America with immigrant parents experiences this dichotomy, of feeling both double and half. It’s something a lot of us who identify as queer experienced growing up as well, slipping between straight and gay worlds, code-switching. I say experienced in the past tense because I don’t know that that’s the experience today’s kids will have. Things are changing.
I think what draws me to dawn and dusk as a songwriter is that those are the moments where we feel change deepest in a day. Those are the moments where I seem to experience the onset of a realization and the strongest feelings of optimism about the future. With this record, I’m trying to share some of those realizations and some of that optimism.
After performing in New York City and Los Angeles over the course of the last week, Rostam will prepare to embark on a tour later this year and into 2018. For now, fans can preorder Half-Light with multiple incentives: ordering from Rostam’s website will include a bundle featuring a t-shirt and hat, while ordering from nonesuch.com will include a print. A limited number of prints will be signed.
Rostam – Half-Light Tracklist
02. Bike Dream
03. Half-Light ft Kelly Zutrau
04. Thatch Snow
06. Never Going To Catch Me
07. Don’t Let It Get To You
08. I Will See You Again
09. Hold You ft. Angel Deradoorian
12. Warning Intruders
15. Don’t Let It Get To You (Reprise)