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Rostam Meets Hari Nef in Sand Dunes for ‘Unfold You’ Video

“The recording of the song tracks an evolution and a metamorphosis for me,” Rostam says

Former Vampire Weekend member Rostam Batmanglij — who records under the name Rostam — has dropped a new single “Unfold You,” accompanied by a video featuring Hari Nef.

Directed by Rostam, the video shows the duo meeting on Dune Shacks Trail in Massachusetts. They sit and stare at each other, and later dance in synchronized movements. “Might be taking a risk/But I’m OK with it,” Rostam sings across a burning saxophone. “I’m OK with it.”

“Hari and I found ourselves in the same quarantine pod in Massachusetts this past July,” Rostam said in a statement. “We also found we had a bunch in common, having gone to the same college nine years apart.”

Rostam came up with the melody for “Unfold You” in November 2017 after playing a show with Nick Hakim in Paris. “I wasn’t familiar with Nick’s music but I was immediately drawn to it,” he said. “Later that night in my hotel room I was winding down after the show and listening to some of Nick’s records. The song ‘Papas Fritas‘ came on, it’s an instrumental track, and I suddenly found myself singing a melody over it and recorded that in my voice memos. Anyone writing songs probably has a few hundred voice memos on their phone. I kept coming back to this one though, and when I returned from a North American tour in February 2018 I booked some days at my favorite Vox Studios in Hollywood.”

“That’s where I first met Henry Solomon, who came in to play sax on ‘Unfold You,’” he continued.  “I had written out some sax lines for a few sections of the song, but others we arranged together in the studio. I wasn’t exactly sure where ‘Unfold You’ would land. I hadn’t finished writing the song, but I continued building out the track with Nick’s ‘Papas Fritas’ as its backbone. I decided I’d let the recording process take me where it would.

Later, Rostam and Solomon worked on Haim’s “Summer Girl,” which Rostam produced. “‘Summer Girl’ came out within a few months of us starting to record it, but ‘Unfold You’ took years,” he noted. “In some ways, it had to — because the recording of the song tracks an evolution and a metamorphosis for me. As I write this, I’m finishing a record that deals a lot with the subject of change and for this whole album, change was what I was searching for musically.”

In addition to co-producing Haim’s Women in Music Pt. III, Rostam also worked on Clairo’s 2019 LP Immunity. “Unfold You” is his first solo release of 2020.

From Rolling Stone US