The former Vampire Weekend member returns with a stunning solo cut.

By Dana Getz
March 11, 2016 at 04:32 PM EST
Paul Archuleta/Getty Images

Rostam Batmanglij’s solo career is off to a swift start. Fresh off a collaboration with Ra Ra Riot on the soaring “Water,” Rostam has released a new solo single, “Gravity Don’t Pull Me,” since departing from Vampire Weekend in late January. Rostam also shared an accompanying video, directed in collaboration with Josh Goleman.

The visual places Rostam front and center against a peeling white wall, backed only by a pair of black bedecked dancers as they run through stunning choreography. “This video was in some ways years in the making,” Rostam explained in a release. The idea first began to form in 2010, when he came across a YouTube video of Jack Grabow improvising dance to “I Think Ur A Contra,” from Vampire Weekend’s 2010 LP, Contra.

“I was really proud of the drum parts I’d written for the end of the song and I felt like he was able to capture those rhythms in a serious way—I got a feeling he understood what I was getting at in a way that I wondered if anyone ever would,” Rostam said. He immediately reached out to Grabow in hopes to team up, finally getting in touch in 2012. When he completed a version of “Gravity Don’t Pull Me” last fall, Grabow was first on his list for a collaboration.

The single’s sound also sees Rostam depart from Vampire Weekend’s bright, Afro-inflected pop rock, coupling his ethereal falsetto with a skittering, electro-powered beat.

The song is the first from a collection of single Rostam is set to release this year. He’ll put on his first live solo show, opening for Brian Wilson, on June 12 in Brooklyn, New York at Northside Festival. Watch the video for “Gravity Don’t Pull Me” below.

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