Kanye West and Bon Iver are a match made in heaven. The pair have collaborated numerous times in the past, with Justin Vernon and co appearing on Kanye’s albums My beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy and Yeezus. Perhaps a little less known, however, is Kanye’s affiliation with Francis and the Lights.
Back while he was still on his journey to becoming insanely Famous, Kanye used to blog about all kinds of rappers, as well as indie artists like Passion Pit, Feist and M.I.A, and in 2009 he wrote about a Francis and the Lights cover of Kanye’s tune Can’t Tell Me Nothin’ (all uncovered via the Wayback Machine.) West also later posted about Francis and the Lights’ video The Top.
Now, nearly a full decade later, FATL recently featured on Summer Friends, from Chance the Rapper‘s new album Colouring Book. Well, it turns out that the song sampled was called Friends, featuring both Kanye West and Bon Iver, in a wonderful little roundabout marriage of some of Kanye’s indie connections. Interestingly, the track’s rather long credits also include a co-write from Rostam Batmanglij (who recently exited Vampire Weekend) and production from Cashmere Cat, among others.
The video has also been released. Directed by Jake Schreier, it’s an interestingly stripped-back clip, beginning with Kanye standing on a plain white set, basically just listening to the music and mouthing along. The camera pans out and we see Francis doing a kind of awkward dance, before sitting on a little step ladder, also singing along. He runs off, dancing wildly, and walks back onto the set. Soon, we see Vernon standing nearby, and the pair engage in some pretty amazing synchronised dancing. If only Kanye was there too! Instead, for whatever reason, we see him off in a corner in the distance near a large light.
Bon Iver and Francis and the Lights are both set to perform at Eaux Claires Festival in Wisconsin, an event curated by Vernon and The National‘s Aaron Dessner. Who knows, maybe Kanye will show up for a cameo appearance.