Grammy Award-winning songwriter and producer Rostam Batmangli, formerly of Vampire Weekend, has not only announced his full-length debut solo album Half-Light (which will be released September 8th via Nonesuch Records) but has premiered the lead single Bike Dreams.
The 15-track debut features songs that were written, produced, and performed by Rostam in his Los Angeles home studio. Songs include EOS, Gwan, and Wood.
Bike Dream is a lo-fi wonder brimming with buzzing electro sounds, it’s a musical kaleidoscope complete with classic Rostam’s lyrics “two boys: one to love you sweetly/ One does so discreetly. 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.” Watch the lyric video below.
In a press release, Rostam had this to say:
“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,” Rostam says of the albums title. “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 experience in the past tense because I don’t know that that’s the experience today’s kids will have. Things are changing,” he continues.
“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.”
Half-Light is now available to pre-order with an instant download of the album tracks Gwan and Bike Dream on iTunes. Pre-orders in Rostams web store include bundles with an offering of an exclusive t-shirt and hat, while pre-orders at Nonesuch include an exclusive print, a limited number of which will be signed by Rostam.
02. Bike Dream
03. Half-Light ft Kelly Zutrau
04. Thatch Snow
06. Never Going To Catch Me
07. Dont Let It Get To You
08. I Will See You Again
09. Hold You ft. Angel Deradoorian
12. Warning Intruders
15. Dont Let It Get To You (Reprise)