For the past month or so, there has been pretty concrete evidence suggesting that a new Bon Iver album is on the way. At the start of June, he shared a pair of new songs, “Hey, Ma” and “U (Man Like),” along with an “iCOMMAi” website. Then, last week, he shared a mysterious trailer for… something. Now, the news has been confirmed: Bon Iver’s new album, i,i, is out on August 30 via Jagjaguwar.
The previously revealed songs are on the record, and now Justin Vernon has shared a new pair of tracks. “Faith” has a strong influences from Bon Iver’s earlier epic indie folk work, while “Jelmore” incorporates more of the modern alternative electronic sound found in Vernon’s recent output.
Vernon said of the record, “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.”
Vernon said recording some of the album at Sonic Ranch was important for the record, saying, “It allowed us to feel confident and comfortable, to be completely free of distraction. I don’t think I left the property in six weeks. And in many ways the story of the album is the story of those six weeks rather than the almost six years of some of the songs.”
He added that when it comes to the name of the album, its meaning is open for interpretation: “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.”
Bon Iver previously teased that his new material was a collaborative product, and now press materials say that the core band for the album consisted of Sean Carey, Andrew Fitzpatrick, Mike Lewis, Matt McCaughan, and Justin Vernon with Rob Moose and Jenn Wasner (of Wye Oak), along with contributions from James Blake, Brad and Phil Cook, Aaron and Bryce Dessner, Bruce Hornsby, Channy Leaneagh, Naeem, Velvet Negroni, Marta Salogni, Francis Starlite, Moses Sumney, TU Dance, and many others.
Listen to “Faith” and “Jemore” above, and find the i,i art and tracklist below.
5. “Hey, Ma”
6. “U (Man Like)”
i,i is out 8/30 via Jagjaguwar. Pre-order it here.