In the five years since Justin Vernon secluded himself in a rural Wisconsin log cabin to record Bon Iver’s debut, For Emma, Forever Ago, the sensitive-wildflower-in-the-wilderness trope has become such an indie cliché that it threatens to become as much his inescapable legacy as Creed’s is for Eddie Vedder. So it’s no huge surprise that the Grammy-winning beard-rocker has devoted most of his forever-after to subverting it: kicking back with Kanye and Keef, crooning R&B and Cookie Monster growling over death metal saxophone.
That makes it easy to forget that his first Bon Iver side project, the post-rock collaboration Volcano Choir, participated in another age old (in web years) cliché: the Postal Service-style collaboration through the mail. A suspiciously high-res trailer released last month for their upcoming album, Repave, proves that that’s no longer the case; they now record in a studio, Together, As One. You can hear that in their new single, “Byegone,” which departs from the pastoral glitch of their 2009 debut, Unmap, instead layering his lesser-heard lower register over a swelling, National-esque crescendo. That’s kind of its own cliché, but Vernon has earned the benefit of the doubt.
Repave comes out September 3, 2013 on Jagjaguwar.
9-6 – Chicago, IL – Metro
9-7 – Indianapolis, IN – Vogue
9-8 – Toronto, Ontario – Phoenix
9-9 – Burlington, VT – Higher Ground
9-11 – Boston, MA – Paradise
9-12 – Washington, DC – 9:30 Club
9-14 – New York, NY – Webster Hall
9-27 – Madison, WI – Orpheum Theater
9-28 – Milwaukee, WI – Past Theater
10-18 – Minneapolis, MN – First Ave.