Vampire Weekend’s Ezra Koenig confirms return of Rostam Batmanglij on new album

Rostam is BACK.

Vampire Weekend singer Ezra Koenig has confirmed that former bandmate Rostam Batmanglij will feature on the New York band’s anticipated fourth album.

Despite officially leaving the group in January 2016, Koenig has confirmed that the multi-instrumentalist will feature on the record – which is set for release next year.

“We’re working on some songs in the exact same way we’ve always worked,” Koenig told Entertainment Weekly of his return.

“We have some stuff that we started a pretty long time ago.”

Koenig has also confirmed that the album will feature the efforts of HAIM producer Ariel Rechtshaid – describing his contribution as “huge”.

“Ariel is a huge part of this album. The first year I worked on the album I was writing so many songs, making so many demos, and it was exciting. I gathered this huge collection of ideas. But that first part of the process, which was when Ariel was finishing the Haim record, now I look back at it as me being out in the wilderness”, Koenig confirmed.

“Once he finished the Haim record, he and I started working more consistently. I was like, ‘Oh yeah, at the end of the day, there needs to be some consistency.’ That’s when the record really started to develop a sound and a vibe.”

And while a release date for the record is yet to materialise, Koenig also teased that the sound will be taken in a new “folk” direction.

“I’ve always really had a thing for really simple forms of folk music, whether it’s like Irish ballads or old-school country. I just like simple songs. I went with Ariel to see Kacey Musgraves at the Greek Theater in L.A. [in September 2016]. The thing I loved about it was it wasn’t too loud — I’m definitely becoming a cranky old man — so I could really hear every word”, he confirmed.

“The music was really clear and her voice was really clear. I’m the type of person who has spent hours poring over the avant-garde poetic lyrics of certain songwriters, and there was something that felt so good [about how] from the first verse, you knew who was singing, who they were singing to, what kind of situation they were in.”