Former Vampire Weekend member Rostam Batmanglij released a new single today in anticipation of his album release on June 4. “Changephobia” is to be the album’s title track and title of the album, and has been released following earlier singles “4Runner,” “These Kids We Knew,” and “Unfold You.”
As the name suggests, the single describes the struggles and general fear surrounding the concept of change in our lives, and how these fears ultimately hinder our ability to progress, grow and heal. The album will touch on such topics as global warming (“These Kids We Knew”), a classic American road trip (“4Runner”), sex (“Unfold You”), and sharing a cab ride out of town with a loved one (“From the Back of a Cab”). These songs connect through a common theme of how each of us works through personal change, a topic personal to Rostam.
The album releases thus far suggest some straying from many of Rostam’s previous records because of their lack of classical references. Changephobia doesn’t feature the baroque lines, harpsichord or glances toward artists such as Bach that Rostam has been known for. This new single aligns with the more jazz influences of the album, featuring saxophone accompaniment and solo by Henry Solomon that aid the soft and grounded quality of Rostam’s voice. The song also possesses the indie-rock qualities that fans love, with a strong percussion beat along with a catchy solo line with an instrumental layer that’s sure to have listeners tapping their feet.
The lyric video further supports the ease of the song’s sound, displaying a photo of Rostam laying barefoot on a rooftop with an electric guitar resting on his chest. The lyrics appear by word in colorful, free handwriting, and the sky in the background changes colors throughout the video to suggest the progression of time.
Rostam has been producing music as a solo artist since his departure from Vampire Weekend in 2016, having produced nine albums overall. These have included Haim’s 2020 album Women in Music Pt. III, Clairo’s 2019 album Immunity, as well as some collaborative work with Hamilton Leithauser, Maggie Rogers, Lykke Li and a number of others. He has done some soundtrack work for television and film. Changephobia will be his second album under his own name.