Way back in 2007, Justin Vernon self-released For Emma, Forever Ago, his first album under the name Bon Iver. Jagjaguwar picked up the release the next year, and it slowly became a massive word-of-mouth indie hit. In the years since, Vernon has launched his Volcano Choir side project, worked with Kanye West and Gayngs, and done all sorts of one-off gigs and guest appearances. But though he’s done a ton of touring with Bon Iver, that main project has been largely silent ever since he released the Blood Bank EP early in 2009. And on June 21, Bon Iver will finally return when Jagjaguwar releases their self-titled sophomore album.
Vernon and brother Nate recorded and mixed the album over a three-year period at a former veterinarian’s clinic in Wisconsin. Regular Vernon collaborators Sean Carey, Mike Noyce, and Matt McCaughan play, sing, and contributed production to the album. Volcano Choir members Jim Schoenecker and Tom Wincek helped out with processing, and Rob Moose, who has worked with the National and Antony and the Johnsons, helped arrange strings. The LP also features pedal steel player Greg Leisz and a horn section that includes Mike Lewis, C.J. Camerieri, and free-jazz monster Colin Stetson. The lush cover art, from Minnesota artist Gregory Euclide, is above.
We’ve got the tracklist below, as well as a brief preview video for the album.
02 Minnesota, WI
06 Hinnom, TX
09 Lisbon, OH