6 hours ago when I wrote about my excitement about Bon Iver's new tracks, I had no idea they are actually planning on releasing the full i, i 3 weeks ahead of schedule.
I was really thrown off when re-logging on YouTube and seeing not 4 but 7 new lyrical videos few hours after my feature. I thought to myself - well, that's weird - 8 out of the 12 tracks are already out... but you know - marketing and strategies. Turns out there was no strategy or whatsoever. Just brilliant, brilliant music. The progression from Justin Vernon's early days and For Emma, Forever Ago to being a full-blown band and 22, a Million is still mind-blowing.
When it comes to i,i don't expect that lonesome acoustic feel from the earliest days. If anything, the record feels like a next step to his predecessor 22, a Million. Very glitchy, beautifully experimental and still incredibly intimate. It has been a strange night, so I used the album as a stage to write personal thoughts. I won't be sharing that text here because its irrelevant, but what I felt with this album was a safe space where you can really let out anything that's on the inside.
Justin Vernon shares...
i,i 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.
I could absolutely relate to that. While the album is new, some of the tracks like "Hey Ma" and "Faith" have been around for some weeks and already carry a lot of sentiment for me. those 2 tracks, however, are just the beginning. The album offers such an unique experience and combination of sounds... it's this beautifully chaotic sequence of experimental, yet calming sonic charges one needs to experience. I couldn't even put into words how "iMi" makes me feel.
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The album has been recorded at Sonic Ranch in West Texas and April Base in Wisconsin (Vernon's home state). The band which recorded the album consists of Sean Carey, Andrew Fitzpatrick, Michael Lewis, Matt McCaughan, and Justin Vernon, featuring Rob Moose and Wye Oak’s Jenn Wasner. Addition i,i collaborators include James Blake, Moses Sumney, Bruce Hornsby, Francis Starlite, Brad and Phil Cook, Aaron and Bryce Dessner, POLIÇA’s Channy Leaneagh, Wheezy, Naeem Hanks (aka Spank Rock), and BJ Burton. What a stellar line-up.
If Spotify if your preferred weapon of choice, I'll add the iframe below. I hope this album brings you the experience it does to me. Bon Iver would never disappoint.