As surprising musical duets go, Justin Vernon (a.k.a. Bon Iver) and Kanye West might top the list with a good amount of discernible distance between them and the next closest tag-team. Vernon’s influence was obvious on West’s tracks “Monster” and “Lost In the World.” Granted, it was cool seeing Vernon tap into his inner-Yeezy, roll to Hawaii for a few weeks to record and break out of that Northern Wisconsin-pensive funk that outlined his For Emma, Forever Ago. However, fans knew that Ricky Rozay-assisting Vernon wasn’t going to last. A rabid thirst for new Iver music would eventually erupt. In these Internet times, three years is too damn long to wait for a sophomore effort.
So, with 2011’s beginning, Mr. Vernon packed his hermit sack and returned to remote Wisconsin to record For Emma, Forever Ago’s follow-up. The record’s first single, “Calgary,” packs Vernon’s characteristic hushed vocals over a cavalcade of instrumentation. A departure from the stark, minimalist beauty of his band’s debut album, “Calgary” blows up his traditional electro-folk boundaries. There are woozy keyboards and a definite arena-rock touch–an obvious by-product of his time spent on Hip-Hop’s Mount Olympus. The track’s beginning might sound oddly reminiscent to some half-bloated 80s pop opus, but its steady build is sure to please old fans and foster new ones.
Bon Iver’s self-titled follow-up will hit stores on June 21. However, pleased listeners can snag a free mp3 of “Calgary” and pre-order the album from their site, putting the money directly in their pocket and come away with a few extra goodies along the way.
Bon Iver – “Calgary”