Rostam Shares Lyric Video for “Half-Light,” the Title Track to New Album

Half-Light Due Out September 15 via Nonesuch

Sep 06, 2017
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Find It At: AMAZON

Rostam Batmanglij (formerly of Vampire Weekend and who just goes by his first name these days) is releasing his debut solo album, Half-Light, next Friday (September 15) via Nonesuch. It includes "Gwan," a single that Rostam released a video for back in April, and "Bike Dream." Now he has shared another song from the album, title track "Half-Light," via a lyric video. The song features Kelly Zutrau of Wet. Listen and watch below.

Batmanglij had this to say about the song in a press release: "After I recorded the piano and my voice, I sat down at the drum kit and sketched in a beat. Then I picked up the bass and added acoustic guitars. The next thing was the fuzz guitar. I worked quickly and didn't think too much about anything as I was recording it. This is how I made music as a teenager with a four-track. I got as far as the first fade-out on the guitar solo, but I didn't feel like the song was done yet. Kelly Zutrau [of the band Wet] was staying in my back house and one day I said, 'Hey Kelly I've got this almost-finished song. Do you think you could help me figure out the ending for it?' Kelly wrote the part she sings and helped me write the part that I sing after the guitar solo as well. I love the shift in perspective she brought to the song."

Rostam produced all three of Vampire Weekend's albums, but left the band early last year to focus on his solo work and producing. Last year Rostam teamed up with Hamilton Leithauser of The Walkmen and released a collaborative album, I Had a Dream That You Were Mine, via Glassnote.

Rostam had this to say about the album and its title in a previous press release: "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."

Rostam Tour Dates: 

In-Store Performances:
9/14 Los Angeles, Amoeba 6 pm performance (with full band) and signing
9/18 Seattle, Easy Street 7 pm performance and signing

Live Show:

9/27 New York City, Music Hall of Williamsburg

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