Sufjan Stevens has shared two new versions of his 2015 track ‘Fourth Of July’ just in time for America’s Independence Day celebrations. The original version of the track appeared on Stevens’ 2015 album, Carrie & Lowell. Released on 1st July to coincide with Stevens’ own 47th birthday, both versions of the song were recorded around 2014.
In a post shared alongside their release, Stevens explained that he rescued the tracks from an old hard drive. The first of these alternate versions, dubbed the ‘April Base Version’, was recorded near Eau Claire in Wisconsin at Justin Vernon’s April Base Studio. The other version, titled the ‘Dumbo Version’, was recorded at Stevens’ old studio in Brooklyn.
Sufjan Stevens – ‘Fourth of July (April Base Version)’
As Stevens’ Asthmatic Kitty label explained, he would often “rework different versions of his songs while recording an album.” Other versions of the track were previously released on his The Greatest Gift mixtape in 2017, and 2015’s ‘Exploding Whale’ single.
“The song has recently had a resurgence with listeners — which may speak to a deep national grief and sense of loss,” Asthmatic Kitty said. “As we head into this Fourth of July weekend — a U.S. holiday marked by war (and death) — let us reflect on what it means to live in fullness in the face of death.”
Both versions of ‘Fourth Of July’ are set to be released on a limited run of 7″ singles in December, coinciding with the tenth anniversary of the death of Stevens’ mother, Carrie.