Rostam Batmanglij shared his solo single “EOS” back in January, but at the time he was still (publicly) a member of Vampire Weekend. Now, he’s released his first new track as Rostam since officially departing the band.
“Gravity Don’t Pull Me” is a far more electronic endeavor than “EOS”, though it still has a restraint in its instrumentation. A constant drizzle of synth spirals skip across a clapping rhythm that breaks into a skitter on the chorus. “But the worst way I ever felt,” Rostam sings on the confessional tune, “Was from this same boy that I still miss/ ‘Cause I messed it up/ And it broke my heart.”
Rostam himself directed the video alongside Josh Goleman. Below, read Batmanglij’s statement about how the video came together over many years.
“This video was in some ways years in the making. After the release of the Discovery LP in 2009 I began to see people posting videos of themselves choreographing sections of songs from the album. It was then I realized I really wanted to make a dance video. In 2010 I came across a YouTube video Jack Grabow posted when he was a senior in high school of himself improvising dance to the song ‘I Think Ur a Contra’. I was really proud of the drum parts I’d written for the end of the song and I felt like he was able to capture those rhythms in a serious way—I got a feeling he understood what I was getting at in a way that I wondered if anyone ever would. In 2012 I finally got in touch with him about collaborating on a project. He was really into the idea, but I didn’t know what the right song could be at that time. When I finished a version of ‘Gravity Don’t Pull Me’ in the fall of 2015, Jack was one of the first people I sent it to. I was pretty clear on what I wanted – Jack to choreograph a dance to be mirrored by another dancer for a symmetrically shot performance on camera. He chose to bring in Sam Asa Pratt. The two had been in the same dance club in high school and I recognized Sam from a video he’d posted of himself dancing to the song ‘Osaka Loop Line’ from the Discovery album. The final version of ‘Gravity Don’t Pull Me’ includes Sam and Jack performing the choreography they collaborated on and also improvised sections of the dance.”
A full-length from Rostam is expected later this year via XL. In support, Rostam will perform his debut solo gig opening for Brian Wilson at Brooklyn’s Northside Festival on June 12th.