This is the second studio LP that Rostam has made by himself since parting ways with Vampire Weekend, following his 2017 record Half-Light. It features his comeback single “Unfold You” as well as the songs “These Kids We Knew”, “4Runner”, and the saxophone-touting title track.
In a press release, Rostam said that he was compelled to write Changephobia after meeting a stranger on a park bench. The two opened up to one another while sitting there and Rostam explained how he felt like recent changes in his life were unexpectedly pushing him off-course. That’s when the stranger replied with a few words that would alter the musician’s outlook on life: “Change is good. Go with it.”
“Transphobia, biphobia, homophobia — these words hold a weight of threat, and it occurred to me that the threats they bare — the fears they describe — are rooted in a fear of change: a fear of the unknown, of a future that is not yet familiar, one in which there is a change of traditions, definitions, and distributions of power,” explained Rostam. “So gender, too, was on my mind while creating this album, as I came to find myself writing about love and connection but not wanting to place relationships in a gendered context. This collection of songs is not celebrating a fear of change. Rather, it’s the opposite. It’s about who we are capable of becoming if we recognize these fears in ourselves and rise above them.”
When not working on his own album, Rostam has stayed plenty busy over the past year by keeping his creative skills sharp. He produced HAIM’s excellent record Women in Music Pt. III, contributed to a stacked voters’ rights compilation, and even set Amanda Gorman’s now-famous Inauguration poem to music using piano arrangements.
Orders for Changephobia are currently ongoing, including some cool physical versions like a special edition vinyl LP that comes with saxophone sheet music, guitar tab inserts, and an autographed photo print. Check out the cover art and tracklist for it after the jump.
01. These Kids We Knew
02. From the Back of a Cab
03. Unfold You
09. To Communicate
10. Next Thing