4Runner

Album: Changephobia (2021)
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Songfacts®:

  • This euphoric number captures the intimate thrill of going on a West Coast road trip with a loved one.

    Sleeping behind the wheel
    Pulled over on the freeway
    4Runner, stolen plates
    Long, long gone


    A 4Runner is a compact SUV made by Toyota. Rostam told The Sun newspaper he based the lyrics on a personal experience, but there is some poetic license with the car model. He said: "In that song, I chose the inside of a 4Runner as a setting for the song. The real life car was probably a different model of Toyota - it might have been a Subaru even - but the word 4Runner sang better."
  • "4Runner" originated with a song Rostam heard in a Japanese store, which he couldn't find. The former Vampire Weekend band member told Apple Music he remembered how it sounded - "12-string acoustic guitar and had brush drums" - so he filed it away in his brain.

    Years later, Rostam tried realizing the idea in the studio. "I started building it up with 12-string acoustic, drums and Moog Voyager bass," he said. "I made a track that felt fresh and then spent a lot of time just driving around and sitting in my room listening to it, piecing it together what it should be about."

    Rostam came up with a gay love story where he and his lover go on a West Coast trip. The 12-string acoustic guitar and booming percussion matches the thrill of a drive in the sunshine with his lover.
  • The song features muffled spoken-word vocals by the Rhode Island poet and farmer Tess Brown-Lavoie between the second chorus and the bridge.
  • "4Runner" is the third single from Rostam's second solo album, Changephobia. The singer-songwriter produced the entire record himself.

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