Label: Matsor Projects
Released: 4th June 2021
Musician, producer, composer, former Vampire at the Weekend, Rostam Batmanglij has pretty much done the lot already. So it’s probably fitting then that this, his second solo album, is all about embracing change and facing it without fear. With subject matters taking in global warming, road trips and sex (not all at the same time), it’s a very 2021 genre-averse dive into a world that flits casually between multiple styles like a casual browser in a vintage record store.
The gorgeous opener ‘These Kids We Knew’ feels like a gently warmed caramelatte, the mellow air of a summer daydream drifting in straight away before the romance of ‘From The Back Of A Cab’ slips in with its glitchy, early hours vibe. The sprawling ‘4Runner’ feels suitably restless meanwhile, its widescreen world bringing The War Of Drugs to mind. Elsewhere it even gets a bit jazzy, the title track in particular feeling and sounding a whisker away from something that would make Rostam hop on a treadmill while wearing a funny hat.
The gentle breeze that is responsible for powering ‘Changephobia’ along does ultimately begin to count against it. Though there are delightful moments popping up every now and then, everything feels just a little too light and struggles to really take hold in your memory, it’s relentless insistence on skipping onto the next thing making everything feel just that bit too fleeting. Change might be good, but sometimes you just want to sit still for a bit and enjoy the view.