Recommended by Suzette Smith
Though he’s best known for producing hits for stars like Carly Rae Jepsen and Solange and playing with Vampire Weekend (which he left in 2016), Rostam Batmanglij has been quietly releasing his own electronic pop songs for the past six years. By the time fans got their hands on his hotly anticipated solo debut, Half-Light, the powerhouse multi-instrumentalist had already released most of the songs on the record. (But it’s good, so who cares?) Half-Light continues the work fans have come to associate with Rostam—namely, his imaginings of baroque-pop song sequels to the Mark Mothersbaugh instrumentals from The Royal Tenenbaums soundtrack. It’s great, if shiveringly sentimental in some places, and feels like what everyone needs to have on their playlist right now: a sweet-tempered view on being busy and in love by a man who always smiles when he sings.