Every once in a while, you come across an artist who can do no wrong in your eyes. Song after song, album after album, it seems like everything they touch turns to gold, and your brain reflexively clicks on every link within a 70-pixel radius of their name. Not to get all double rainbow guy on you, but I really believe it’s a meaningful connection — finding someone who shares your tastes and is capable of creating music that satisfies them time after time, especially across multiple bands or projects, is extremely rare. Call it having a musical kindred spirit. Such is the case with Rostam Batmanglij. Whether with Vampire Weekend, Discovery, Kid Cudi or Das Racist, I have yet to find a song he’s been involved in that I didn’t like, which is why I was thrilled when I saw he released a song under his own name, stylized as ROSTAM, and even more thrilled once I listened to it. “Wood” is a fascinating composition, and it’s an excellent exemplar of one of Batmanglij’s most laudable traits — one that has served Vampire Weekend and all his other projects very well — like the speedy neutrino, he can travel faster than the speed of light. I’m convinced of it. How else can he be in India playing traditional drums and sitar, in Europe playing classical strings from the 18th century, and at the same time be singing contemporary pop vocals? You can’t explain that! He lives in the space between genres more comfortably than any other artist I know, which has made him a tremendously interesting musical kindred spirit over the past few years. Check out “Wood” below, and if you like it, I beg you to grab Discovery’s album. You’ll go bonkers over it, I promise.
ROSTAM — “Wood“