Rostam - Half-Light
Critic Score
Based on 19 reviews
2017 Ratings: #386 / 887
User Score
Based on 114 ratings
2017 Ratings: #276
Liked by 1 person
September 15, 2017 / Release Date
LP / Format
Nonesuch / Label
Art Pop, Indie Pop / Genres
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Consequence of Sound
After a decade of shaping the musical world in various supporting roles, Batmanglij’s first proper solo record is a quiet revelation that places his talents front and center, the key to unlocking just how instrumental he’s always been, and will hopefully remain, for years to come.
A.V. Club

With Half-Light, Rostam ... steps away from the anonymous comfort of band and collab-life for a solo album that crackles with fussy, fantastic energy. It’s close enough to the sound of his best-known band—with whom he still plans to work on occasion—to be familiar, but far enough to get a little weird, which is something he clearly enjoys doing.

Pretty Much Amazing

With his breathtaking debut solo album, Half-Light, the producer and singer delves into his new creative freedom to create a record that is at once challenging and familiar.

Rolling Stone

Batmanglij has a boyish, intimate tenor, charming when not overdoing the breathy, verge-of-a-giggle delivery. Ultimately, though, it's the gorgeously inventive tracks that steal the show.


Half-Light is a sprawling, passionate musical memoir; as far as remembrances of things past go, this one is remarkably forward-sounding.

Longing and heartbreak are universal themes, but what Rostam does is make them accessible, thought-provoking in an artful manner that will serve him well in as he navigates his solo career.

Half-Light traces where he’s been so far, a typical theme for any solo debut. This is as understandable as it is slightly frustrating. Because all along, Rostam has never settled for anything close to typical.

Loud and Quiet

‘Half-Light’ is an eccentric record brimming with personal lyrics and nuanced instrumentation, that’s simultaneously vulnerable and bold.

Northern Transmissions

An auditory feast with an occasional lack of composition finds a lot of the best moments in the last 30 seconds of any given song.

The Line of Best Fit

He doesn’t end up throwing too many curveballs on Half-Light, his debut solo collection; the overall sound falls somewhere in between the hipper side of pop that his production work has chiefly been concerned with, and the rich melodic textures that have characterised Vampire Weekend’s output from the beginning.

Under The Radar

Half-Light is a brave, challenging, and infectious debut, sometimes falling short, and other times achieving grand things.


All in all, Half-Light makes it apparent just how much of what was captivating about Vampire Weekend came from Batmanglij, solidifying the newly independent musician as a collaborator artists from multiple genres should — and do — want to work with.

Rostam may have defined Vampire Weekend’s sound, but with ‘Half-Light’ he begins to define himself.

There are certainly less hooks on Half-Light than may be expected, but Batmanglij still knows how to write a pretty melody.

Man this is an album I wish would get a bit more attention. I'll admit that I've always been a big fan of Rostam's production work, especially in Vampire Weekend, and I do really like his singing voice as well, the way it always sounds like he's smiling. But aside from my bias, I think the record's production is wonderful and speaks for itself, I think the album has lots of repeatibility, some great melodies (especially on Bike Dream, Gwan and Rudy), and while Rostam's not as interesting or ... read more
This album could have been truly amazing but unfortunately, the length really holds it back. There are a few tracks that really didn't have to be there. Not just the album itself but even some of the songs feel kinda bloated.

Least Favourite : Hold You, Eos
You don't really notice how unique Rostam's production is until you sit down and listen to a whole album of it. It subtly mixes together elements of Iranian and Eastern music into the more familiar tapestry of Western indie & pop music, marking his unique musical identity on these songs. Bolstered by deeply-personal songwriting and some wonderful surprises, the album's an excellent first solo venture for the former Vampire Weekend member.
Rostam was never seen as an indie-rock tastemaker. Instead, he quietly worked on a wide swathe of genre-challenging albums and singles, and, after ten years in the industry, is finally getting a fair shake. If Half-Light doesn’t establish Batmanglij as the musical titan he’s so ambitiously strived to be, it should at least reaffirm his unwavering dedication to crafting songs that can endear, stupefy, and comfort—all in the course of a few minutes.
So disappointed about this one
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Year End Lists

#23/Vinyl Me, Please

Track List

  1. Sumer
  2. Bike Dream
  3. Half-Light (feat. Kelly Zutrau)
  4. Thatch Snow
  5. Wood
  6. Never Going To Catch Me
  7. Don't Let It Get To You
  8. I Will See You Again
  9. Hold You (feat. Angel Deradoorian)
  10. When
  11. Rudy
  12. Warning Intruders
  13. Eos
  14. Gwan
  15. Don't Let It Get To You (Reprise)
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Added on: June 14, 2017