Rostam, ‘Bike Dream’ | Track Review
Rostam Batmanglij – simply known as Rostam now – drops a captivating single, “Bike Dream,” in advance of his Nonesuch debut project, ‘Half-Light.’
When Vampire Weekend comes to mind, often the first member associated is frontman Ezra Koenig. Even so, another former member played a key role in the success of the Grammy-winning indie rock band – Rostam Batmanglij (simply Rostam now). Unfortunately, Rostam exited Vampire Weekend, but has been busy doing his own thing. The talented musician, producer, and songwriter releases his “proper” debut project, Half-Light on September 15. Ahead of Half-Light, he issued five singles: “Bike Dream,” “Wood,” “Don’t Let It Get to You,” “EOS,” and “Gwan.”
“Bike Dream” commences with bold, dynamic sounds that instantly grab attention. It’s unsurprising that the production stands out, considering Batmanglij’s production skill for various artists. There is a driving quality that keeps things moving forward and maintaining energy. Arguably, the best aspect of “Bike Dream” is the music, which is nothing short of awesome.
The vocals arguably aren’t as ‘shocking’ as the instrumental, but the sound and vocal style is interesting. It fits the indie-alternative idiom. Perhaps, as a Vampire Weekend fan, one expects to hear Ezra Koenig step to the mike as opposed Rostam. That’s unfair, but for indie fans, Vampire Weekend is definitely kind of a big deal. By the chorus, the listener gets the idea of where Rostam is going with the performance. Whether it’s a listener perception or Rostam himself, the performance seems to gain more confidence as it progresses.
Honestly, the vocals deserve recognition because lyrically, “Bike Dream” has plenty of notable moments. The writing is highly respectable. Obviously, the crème de la crème moment comes on the chorus, which is relatively catchy – keeping in mind this is indie, not pop.
“Two boys, one to kiss your neck / And one to bring you breakfast / Get you out of bed when / You’re sore from the night before / From knocking at my door / Your head against the floor boards…”
All in all, Rostam ‘has it going on’ on “Bike Dream.” It’s well-produced, well-written, and overall, captivating. Vocally, he holds his own, even if Vamp fans, as aforementioned, are still waiting for Ezra Koenig to sing about that “Oxford Comma.” Half-Light should definitely be an intriguing album.