Poking around Rostam Batmanglij’s Tumblr, one gets the sense that he leads a terrifically casual life. Afternoons wasted daydreaming in his scenic window sill, painting on his iPad. Evenings dining as casually expensive vegetarian restaurants before heading out to Japanese costume parties with a camera and a buzz. His life seems to resemble one of Wes Andersonian privilege and nostalgia where he hops from one moment of whimsically staged transcendence to the next. And this has always been present in his greatest contributions to Vampire Weekend: ”Campus,” “I Think U R a Contra,” “M79.” Batmanglij’s sense of melody and rhythm and their impact on the emotional tenor of a song is extraordinary. He moves from cooly relaxed to beautifully melancholy with the slightest touches. And no where is this more evident than on “Wood,” his latest one-off single. Incorporating an colorful menagerie of percussion instruments and a stately string section, “Wood” is an exoticized Wilsonian pocket symphony that finds transcendence in the quietest moments (“Sunlight on your back, you’re dreaming”). By the soaring conclusion of “Wood,” Batmanglij has conjured up a sense of longing so potent and visceral that it’s pretty easy to begrudge his Instagrammatically ideal lifestyle.
via No Genre