In a statement, Rostam said,”‘In a River’ is the first song I wrote on the mandolin. In January we started rehearsing the song for the Half-Light North American Tour and it became a staple of every show. When we came back from that month-long tour I booked time at Vox Studios in Hollywood and jumped into recording the song. At that point we had played it some twenty times in front of twenty different audiences across the country. About halfway through the tour I started bringing the audience into the song and asking them to clap along after that second chorus. I have memories of how those claps sounded, I can still remember how hard they hit in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in a packed theatre with a foot of snow on the ground outside.
Adam here with me DJ pick of the week. I am smitten with Rostam’s delicate melancholy on “In A River,” so I’m sharing it today! He’s my fav producer too, working with folks like Maggie Rogers, HAIM and Frank Ocean.
When we got in the studio, I knew I wanted to capture the feeling we got when we played it live, so I pulled the audio off a YouTube clip from a few nights prior — in San Francisco — and dropped it in the Pro Tools session. That audio became a roadmap for how the song should move. The tempo fluctuates widely — kicking up as the drums enter and the violins solo, then settling into a slower groove when we get back to the chorus, finally slowing down even more as the song ends with the 808 bass and vocals. It’s so rare that modern music gets ‘off the grid’ but “In a River” is a hybrid. It’s steady for the first half but then free in tempo from the moment the drums come in.”
Listen below and let us know what you think!