Video: Rostam -- “Bike Dream”
From Half-Light, out now on Nonesuch Records.
I’ll admit I didn’t want to like this song. I’m still kind of mad at Mr. Batmanglij for quitting Vampire Weekend. I totally realize how juvenile that sounds, but what can you do? Gotta feel your feelings, right? So I was fully prepared to dismiss this out of hand, but I’m a sucker for street views of Paris and this video features our hero riding around La Ville-Lumière (plus Berlin and Copenhagen), so I gave it a chance.
Rostam’s voice comes off as a little too twee at first, but it grows on you and the fact that it sounds like he’s smiling while he sings is ultimately charming.
He told NPR, “The melody and lyrics for this song were originally written over completely different music. At some point I realized it was nearly in the same key as another beat I was working on that had a kind of T-Rex vibe to it. I put them together, and the song came out of marrying those two things. Though I played piano and electric guitar for the song, I used my playing to create measures of music that I could loop and layer with the sound of vinyl crackling. The idea was to reverse engineer the sound you get from sampling an old recording and building new music out of that. […] I don’t want to explain too much about this song lyrically, but I will say it’s about wanting the person you’re with to be two different people, maybe two different kinds of people.”
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
Rostam has also pointed out that “the two boys in the chorus aren’t actually two boys, but two versions of the same person. […] the boyfriend that’s not cool with himself vs the boyfriend that is.”