If there was any doubt as to the musical impact Rostam Batmanglij had on Vampire Weekend throughout his tenure in that band, each subsequent solo track he’s released since last year’s “EOS” should prove it.
Now we have “Gwan,” which he initially debuted during an interview with KCRW last summer. Surely to the delight of the many patiently waiting fans, and unlike his past singles, this song is billed as the first release from a full-length album that’s supposedly “coming soon.”
The song features Rostam singing over a beautifully arranged string section that, along with the vocal melody, bears strong resemblance to some of the musical textures explored on Vampire Weekend’s last album, the Grammy-winning Modern Vampires of the City. Lyrically, “Gwan” finds Rostam grappling with and accepting the way his mind works, as he states in a press release for the track:
I’ve had experiences where my life will try to tell me something in a dream—and sometimes it’s something I’m not ready to hear. So I think maybe this song is about trying to listen to what your subconscious mind is trying to say to you.
The song’s accompanying music video, directed by Greg Brunkalla, features Batmanglij walking through various spots around New York City, a sly and peaceful smile on his face as he sings along.
Hopefully we’ll have more to report on Rostam’s forthcoming debut LP in the near future. In the meantime, watch the “Gwan” video above and check out the handful of tour dates he’s got coming up here. You can also check out a Daytrotter Session with Vampire Weekend from their early days below.