After a five year hiatus from the music world, Bon Iver are back.
The band’s frontman, Justin Vernon announced yesterday at a Wisconsin musical festival that the band is set to release a new album in September titled ‘22, A Million’. Vernon also premired two new tracks from the album, ’22 (OVER SOON)’ and ‘10 d E A T h b R E a s T’. The experimental titles perhaps reflect the new experimental direction of the tracks themselves.
Combining Bon Iver’s signature distant and subtle-echoing guitar lines with Vernon’s whispering falsetto, the songs also take an unsuspected turn in the woods, with the introduction of a more electronic sound.
In the five years since they released their critically acclaimed self-titled album, the heart-melting whispers of Bon Iver have matured in ways unexpected. Expect more of the stripped back beats heard in the band’s collaboration with James Blake in 2016’s ‘I Need a Forest Fire’.
Before the formation of the band, Vernon had secluded himself in his father’s cabin in Wisconsin following a more-than difficult break up. In that time, he wrote what would later become Bon Iver’s debut album, For Emma, Forever Ago.
Band-mate Trevor Hagan commented ‘ever since the door swung shut on the north woods cabin, we all felt like Justin entered a future we had imagined as kids. It was an obsessive, simple dream we shared as teenagers growing up in Wisconsin: just music, always’.
22, A Million is rumoured to be the band’s final album and, with one of the two tracks released being entitled ‘22 (OVER SOON)’, Vernon and the band could be offering a final parting gift before a final whimsical disappearance into a musical silence. Hagan also went on to say the album is ‘part love letter, part resting place of two decades of searching for self-understanding’.
Since the band’s emergence out of the woodland cabin in 2007 to the more experimental single’s released last night, we’ve seen Vernon grow as a musician from the broken-lover to a man unafraid to be bold.
If one thing’s for certain, we certainly hope that Bon Iver’s journey as a band is not over soon.
Bon Iver’s third studio album, 22, A Million, is set for release on September 30th
Words by Juliette Rowsell