Published Jun 13, 2011Since the release of Bon Iver's landmark debut, For Emma, Forever Ago, songwriter Justin Vernon has made the most of his popularity. He formed the band Volcano Choir, collaborated with the National's Aaron Dessner on the compilation Dark Was the Night and was featured prominently on Kanye West's My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. With such an impressive output over the last few years, anticipation is understandably high for Bon Iver's self-titled second album.
Bon Iver officially drops on June 21 via Jagjaguwar, but you can stream the entire album right here on Exclaim.ca. Go here to listen.
When writing the record's ten songs, Vernon threw out the folksy formula that he perfected on For Emma, Forever Ago, which he admitted was a result of writer's block. Rather than rely on his acoustic guitar, Vernon recruited a slew of multi-instrumental collaborators to help create a lush sonic patchwork, including Sean Carey, Mike Noyce and Matt McCaughan, as well as Rob Moose (the National/Antony and the Johnsons), Jim Schoenecker and Tom Wincek. Also making an appearance is Montreal saxophonist Colin Stetson, who has lent his horn to everyone from Arcade Fire to Tom Waits and Timber Timbre. The contributors' warm keys and expansive horns make for a rich and diverse listening experience that emphasizes texture over straightforward songwriting.
But despite the many stylistic differences, there's no mistaking Vernon's ghostly voice and warm, layered harmonies. Bon Iver is every bit as affecting as the songwriter's past work, and his personality shines through despite the emphasis on collaborations.
Bon Iver will be taking the album on tour this summer. Check out the dates here. And of course, warm up for the show by listening to Bon Iver here on Exclaim.ca between now and June 19.
Stay tuned for these future full-album streams on Exclaim.ca:
Handsome Furs Sound Kapital June 20 to June 26
Wiley 100% Publishing June 27 to July 4