Rostam Batmanglij Leaves Vampire Weekend
News of Batmanglij's departure from the group was delivered today (January 26) via a screengrab of an iPhone note, which the musician posted on his Twitter account. It explained that while he'll still be working with bandleader Ezra Koenig on "future projects" and Vampire Weekend material, Batmanglij has exited the band as a full-time member.
"My identity as a songwriter + producer, I realized, needs to stand on its own," he wrote, adding, "I can't even begin to express the joy I get from writing songs, both on my own + with others, I hold it all sacred. There is so much amazing music — all of it dear to me — on its way to you."
Though Batmanglij didn't offer up the specifics on any immediate projects, the last few years have seen him working with a number of collaborators outside of Vampire Weekend.
Last year, Batmanglij worked with Canadian pop star Carly Rae Jepsen on E•MO•TION track "Warm Blood." The year before, he'd produced Charli XCX's Sucker number "Need Ur Luv," as well as the UK artist's "Kingdom" single for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1 – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack. He also co-wrote a pair of tracks for Walkmen singer Hamilton Leithauser's 2014 solo debut, Black Hours.
Most recently, Batmanglij dropped a solo single titled "EOS." You'll find a video for the track down below.
Batmanglij was a founding member of Vampire Weekend, which started in 2006. He made three full-length records with the band, the last of which being 2013's Modern Vampires of the City. The band retweeted Batmanglij's note shortly after it was posted. You'll find the message in full down below.
UPDATE (01/26, 7:00 p.m.): Vampire Weekend vocalist Ezra Koenig has offered his thoughts on the news via Instagram. He explains how he and Batmanglij came to the friendly split, and assures fans that new a new Vampire Weekend record is on the way. Read the full post below.
A couple years ago, Rostam and I sat down at his house & talked abt whether our collaboration was dependent on being members of the same band. We both firmly agreed that nope, it was not. In fact, we agreed that our collaboration was more important. I'm psyched about the work we've already begun for LP4 and I'm psyched to hear anything else Rostam is a part of. Also very excited to continue playing music with CT and Baio but there will be plenty of time to talk about that later in the year. For now in the Vampire Weekend universe, it's all about recording the next album. There will be a lot of familiar faces in the studio but also some fresh, new ones. Working title is "Mitsubishi Macchiato"...for obvious reasons. Shout-out to the fans who have been waiting for new music - it's coming. 🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼 Also tomorrow, we gotta talk abt Iowa.