New York City-based indie music favorite Vampire Weekend has released a new EP titled 40:42, which features two versions of the song “2021” from their 2019 album Father of the Bride. The songs are both different takes on “2021,” performed by LA-based jazz musician and mogul Sam Gendel as well as Goose, a rock quintet from Connecticut. This is not the first time the band has collaborated with Gendel, as the artist worked with Vampire Weekend on the tracks “Spring Snow” and “Flower Moon,” from Father of the Bride.
The band’s frontman, Ezra Koenig, has previously shared his admiration for the band Goose on his Beats1Radio show, Time Crisis, which was reciprocated when Goose’s Peter Anspach called Vampire Weekend one of his “biggest inspirations.” The release of 40:42 follows the release of Vampire Weekend bassist Chris Baio’s solo album Dead Hand Control, released at the end of January.
After being given their one directive by the band, to make their versions exactly 20 minutes and 21 seconds, the artists each created an incredibly unique version of “2021.”
Listen to Sam Gendel’s take on “2021” here:
Gendel’s version leads by slowing the track down significantly, beginning with a melancholy instrumental before jumping in to a heavily distorted robo-vocal that could be described as haunting, to say the least. Soulful piano and erratic percussion meet synths and far-out effects, taking listeners on a psychedelic journey through the twenty-minute-long experimental piece. Bird calls, serene acoustic guitar, and out of context sound bites are not left behind, as the song progressively peels back different layers of itself.
Listen to Goose’s take on “2021” here:
Goose takes a sleepier, more tender approach to “2021,” where a tranquil and dreamy instrumental accompanies a hushed and delicate vocal throughout most of the track. Things do pick up around the half-way mark, where the song makes a gradual and brief transition to whining guitars and dramatic percussion momentarily, before returning to the song’s usual mellow sound. Entrancing and melodious instrumentation makes the remainder of the song easy to get lost in, as the band experiments with pacing, and creates dialogue between keys and guitars.
1. 2021 (in the space between two pieces of wood) feat. Sam Gendel
2.2021 (January 5th, to be exact) feat. Goose
Photo credit: Raymond Flotat