Former Vampire Weekend member Rostam announced a new album called Changephobia, set for release on June 4 via Rostam’s Matsor Projects label. He also shared a new single, “4Runner,” which is officially the third single from the record after “Unfold You” and “These Kids We Knew.”
Named after the Toyota car model, “4Runner” is a song Rostam wrote about going on a road trip with someone. It’s a mellow indie-pop track with easygoing drums, guitar noodling and catchy vocals. Rostam sings, “Sleeping behind the wheel/Pulled over on the freeway/4runner, stolen plates/Long, long gone/Take off a shift for me/I’m waiting down the street/Take all the time you want/To come, come, come.”
An accompanying video uses edited shots from a vehicle-mounted camera, driving through tunnels and scenic stretches of highway. Aside from some brief cuts of a golden sunset, it’s largely a nocturnal video, which fits the lyrics about being too tired to continue and his partner taking over the wheel. The footage is loosely edited in time with the song, including some well-timed car turns, video speed-ups, camera flips and creative use of light exposure.
Rostam’s statement on the sound of the album simply notes its departure from his baroque-inspired roots, “The harpsichord and the cello are these iconic instruments of baroque music — my love affair with them is obvious from a decade of referencing Bach and using those instruments in songs. But in the last few years, and throughout this album, I became obsessed with the Baritone sax, inspired by jazz on a deeper level than ever before, and wanting to bring those things into my musical world.”
Changephobia will be Rostam’s sophomore solo album after 2017’s Half-Light. He also collaborated with The Walkmen’s Hamilton Leithauser for 2016’s I Had a Dream That You Were Mine. 2016 was the year that Rostam left Vampire Weekend to focus on his own music and production. Rostam produced HAIM’s 2020 album Women in Music Pt. III and co-wrote their track “Don’t Wanna.” He also recently set National Youth Poet Amanda Gorman’s “The Hill We Climb” speech from Joe Biden’s presidential inauguration to music.