Photo by Claire Vogel
The promise of a solo album from Rostam has been dangling in the air since he left Vampire Weekend in early 2016. In the interim, he’s worked with everyone from Frank Ocean to HAIM, even releasing a collaborative album with former The Walkmen frontman Hamilton Leithauser called I Had a Dream You Were Mine. Today, the musician/producer born Rostam Batmanglij is finally ready to fulfill the promise of his solo career with the announcement of his debut full-length, Half-Light.
Spanning 15-tracks, Half-Light is due out September 8th via Nonesuch Records. Previously released songs “EOS”, “Gwan”, and “Wood” are included on the tracklist, though the March 2016 single “Gravity Don’t Pull Me” is absent. In its place is “Bike Dream”, a single which has been shared in conjunction with the announcement.
The new track is a buzzing cut of indie electronic sounds, replete with Rostam’s distinct, tumbling lyricism and singing style. “Two boys: one to love you sweetly/ One does so discreetly,” he sings on the chorus. “Never will he meet me but/ I’m sure that you’ll catch your breath/ You’ll sleep into the day/ To wake up with sunlight across your room.” Take a listen via the lyric video below.
Speaking of the Half-Light title in a press release, Rostam admitted he didn’t know the meaning of the phrase before he’d written the title track. When he learned that it referred to both dawn and dusk, he realized it was a perfect match for the record since so many of the songs touch on those times of day; even “Bike Dream” references dawn. Rostam continued,
“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.”
Pre-orders for Half-Light are going on here and via iTunes, each coming with instant downloads of “Gwan” and “Bike Dream”. Those who purchase early via Nonesuch will receive an exclusive print, a limited number of which will be signed by Rostam. Find the album art and tracklist below.
Half-Light Album Art:
02. Bike Dream
03. Half-Light (feat. 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 (feat. Angel Deradoorian)
12. Warning Intruders
15. Don’t Let It Get To You (Reprise)