The former Vampire Weekend member wrote “These Kids We Knew” while “in a fever-dream state” as he recovered from Covid-19 in early March. The acoustic track focuses on the generational conflicts surrounding the climate change crisis, lyrically rebutting those who refuse to deal with the climate emergency at hand: “Ain’t proud of where we’re going / You say we can’t afford to slow down / But the skies won’t take it no more / So we’re gonna slowly pull the earth back together.” The accompanying music video chops between dystopian, smog-filled animations of the earth and happier renditions of a repaired environment.
Rostam said of the single:
I was thinking of three generations while I was writing this song. There’s a generation of adults who don’t see global warming as their problem because they think they won’t be impacted by it. Then there’s a generation younger than mine, who will certainly have to deal with what is happening. In the song I have a fantasy of the younger generation arresting the adults and putting them on trial in the streets of cities around the world. Those are the “sidewalk courts” that I sing about in the song.
Stream Rostam’s latest single here, and watch the music video below. You’ll find audio from Vampire Weekend’s 2007 Daytrotter session further down.