“Wood,” released under the name Rostam, is Batmanglij’s second release this year, following up the atmospheric “EOS” that had been debuted a week before the musician split from his band. The pair of tracks will be pressed on 7-inch vinyl next month.
“I wanted to try to capture the feeling of being in bed with someone and dreaming something wild beside them,” Batmanglij wrote of “Wood” on his official site. He then elaborated on the tale of how the whimsical, ornate song had been incubating for four and a half years. Part of the track’s long journey included a meeting with producer Ariel Rechtshaid who helped record the lead vocal “on a sunny morning with the front door of the studio wide open” before the producer had to focus on dealing with an illness in his family.
Batmanglij also details how he tuned a 12-string acoustic guitar like a sitar to replicate the Persian music he had been raised on. “It’s a queer love song,” he writes. “It’s my moms’ favorite thing I’ve ever done.”
Before leaving Vampire Weekend, Batmanglij had been pursuing solo work and collaborations with other artists. Most recently, he has worked with Charli XCX on her song “Need Ur Love” and with Carly Rae Jepsen on “Warm Blood.”
In his exit statement, the songwriter and producer revealed that he would still be working with the band he co-founded and its frontman Ezra Koenig. “My identity as a songwriter and producer, I realized, needs to stand on its own,” he wrote. “Still connected to the ppl I work with, but through the songs we make together.”