Half-Light is the debut solo studio album by American musician Rostam, released on September 15, 2017. Half-Light was released a year after his departure from his acclaimed indie-pop band, Vampire Weekend, and his successful collaboration with the former The Walkmen singer, Hamilton Leithauser, I Had A Dream That You Were Mine
Rostam Batmanglij (Persian: رستم باتمانقلیچ; born November 28, 1983), known mononymously as Rostam, is an American songwriter, composer, producer and t of electro-soul group Discovery, and formerly of New York City-based indie rock band Vampire Weekend. Batmanglij was born to Iranian parents, and grew up in Washington, . His mother is cookbook author Najmieh Batmanglij while his father is a publisher. His parents arrived in .
Rostam is a name you can trust. On Half-Light, that name is front and center for the first time. Instead of providing another glimpse into smart-pop’s crystal ball, though, the album hovers over the past. He started writing one song more than 10 years ago, and a couple of others were originally released in 2011. There are several loving references to specific locales in Manhattan, though he moved from New York to Los Angeles in 2013. Naturally, the biggest difference between this album and what’s come before is Rostam’s voice. Though he’s an undisputed studio genius, the 33-year-old hasn’t taken up lead vocals on that many recordings thus far. And in contrast to many of the bold and exacting singers he’s previously written with, Rostam’s delivery is often hushed, quivering, devastatingly intimate.
As he looks back on his time in New York City (he moved to Los Angeles in 2013), he makes it easy to hear the years and miles between that time and when he recorded the album. Befitting the first album from an eclectic producer, Half-Light is filled with audacious and awe-inspiring sounds that span pop, indie, classical, and R&B and provide the perfect foil for Rostam's humbler, but still expressive, voice
Three years ago, Rostam Batmanglij moved to Los Angeles from New York. Then he left Vampire Weekend, the popular band he helped found. And last month he released Half-Light, his first solo album. The album has longing references to hailing cabs and Houston Street, but Mr. Batmanglij, who made his reputation writing up-tempo pop set to his own internal rhythm, bristles at the notion that it’s a sentimental love letter to New York. All of the songs, he wants to point out, were written well before he packed his bags. It’s very revealing of a New York mind-set, he said. It’s the cult, right?.
Rostam Batmanglij has been performing for large crowds for the better part of a decade. But watching audience members cry to one of his songs? At first I couldn’t really believe it, the producer, songwriter, t and former Vampire Weekend member says of the intense fan reactions he encountered during his debut solo performances earlier this year. You’ve said the album and its title, Half-Light, is a thematic one: It touches on your feelings of living a double life in terms of being a well-known performer as well as an out gay man and the son of two Iranian immigrants. Some of these songs and ideas for these songs started before I was out. It’s interesting I’m doing this interview with Rolling Stone because I came out in a profile of Vampire Weekend that was in Rolling Stone.
The former Vampire Weekend member releases a quiet revelation showcasing his talents. Half-Light is a record at least six years in the making, and the care and precision reveal an artist wholly focused on craft. The version of Wood heard here is a rerecorded take from when the song was casually released as an MP3 on his Tumblr in 2011 (remember downloading MP3s off of blogs?) and that transformation acts as a clue to the album as a whole. Batmanglij seems focused on the idea of how a song can take different meanings presented in different formats
Rostam – Half-Light. Label: Nonesuch – 562213-1, Matsor Projects – 562213-1. Country: USA & Canada. All songs mastered The Lodge, NY. Publishing: Rostam Batmanglij Music (ASCAP).