After Bon Iver released “Hey, Ma” and “(U) Man Like,” back in June, we had a feeling it was just the beginning of something big. Two new singles, “Faith” and “Jelmore,” dropped last week along with the announcement of an upcoming EP.
The EP will be entitled i,i and will be a direct extension of 2016’s 22, A Million. Each of Bon Iver’s albums represents a season, and i,i completes the cycle of four. For Emma, Forever Ago portrayed Winter, Bon Iver represented Spring and 22, A Million depicted Summer.
Leave it up to Bon Iver to fill an album with star-studded features. i,i is rumored to have collaborations with James Blake, Brad and Phil Cook, Aaron and Bryce Dessner, Bruce HornsbyChanny Leaneagh, Naeem, Velvet Negroni, Marta Salogni, Francis Starlite, Moses Sumney, TU Dance, and even more.
When speaking about the direction of the new release, Justin Vernon said, “It feels very much like the most adult record, the most complete. It feels like when you get through all this life, when the sun starts to set, and what happens is you start gaining perspective. And then you can put that perspective into more honest, generous work.”
He even explains the avant-garde title of the album, “The title of the record can mean whatever it means to you or me. It can mean deciphering and bolstering one’s identity. It can be how important the self is and how unimportant the self is, how we’re all connected.”
“Faith” begins as a slow acoustic track and goes through a journey of intense experimental synths. It fizzles out at the end with a beautiful hymn-like section towards the end where he sings, “I know it’s lonely in the dark // And this year’s a visitor /And we have to know that faith declines // I’m not out all the way.”
“Jelmore” is more abstract and the entire song is backed by spread out groupings of synths. Vernon’s vocals are layered on top to smooth it out. The song references his ode to autumn in the lyrics, “We’ll all be gone by the fall // We’ll all be gone by the falling light.”
— Bon Iver (@boniver) July 11, 2019
Check out the tracklist below:
5. “Hey, Ma”
6. “U (Man Like)”
Featured Image: Jagjaguwar