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Bon Iver Announces New Album, 22, A Million, Here's What It Was Like Live

On August 13, 2016

by Amileah Sutliff & Andrew Winistorfer

Bon Iver, Fall Creek Wisconsin, August, 2010. ..Photo by D.L. Anderson

Yesterday was the first day of Eaux Claires, the second edition of Justin Vernon of Bon Iver's music festival in the woods outside of his hometown, Eau Claire, Wisconsin. He played a set last night, and he did something pretty special: He played the entirety of his new album, 22, A Million. The album is due out on Sept 30 via Jagjaguwar, and like you, we're unbelievably hyped about it. You can hear two songs from the album below.

Our editorial intern, Amileah Sutliff, is at Eaux Claires this weekend, and here's what she said about seeing the album performed live:

As we all returned to the river alongside Eaux Claires festival, and Justin Vernon and his band took the stage on Friday night, it was clear that Bon Iver’s uncanny ability to give an audience goosebumps had also returned, but in a new bone-rattling form. The opening of the festival’s field guide explains, “The river will not reverse itself. It will rise, it will recede, but its flow is forever forward.” The heavily-engineered pangs and samples of “22 (OVER S∞∞N)” entered the wet field and Justin Vernon and his new sound moved forward with the current of the river.

The five years off since Bon Iver, Bon Iver have found Vernon swapping much of his folk-y strums for samples and synths; it’s clear that this work was heavily-influenced and perfected by his role as a producer as much as a songwriter. This isn’t to say he ditched everything for engineered noises: his live band churned out of some the most mind-numbing horn parts and orchestral string backups I’ve ever seen live, and there were still those familiar moments of stripped-down hums that backed crushing falsetto.

Sitting on the stage, adorned in headphones and surrounded by talent, Vernon proved he was moving forward but taking with him the parts of his sound that have the sonic ability to turn people into mere puddles. The most recent tension and release of sheer awe Vernon has mastered was chilling to see live, and I’m counting down the days until I can hear its studio form.

There was also an embarrassment of riches in Bon Iver info released last night:

Here's 22, A Million's tracklist:

01 22 (OVER S∞∞N)
02 10 d E A T h b R E a s T ⊠ ⊠
03 715 - CRΣΣKS
04 33 “GOD”
05 29 #Strafford APTS
06 666 ʇ
07 21 M♢♢N WATER
08 8 (circle)
09 ____45_____
10 00000 Million
And here's the two new songs put out on YouTube last night:

"22 (OVER S∞∞N)"

"10 d E A T h b R E a s T ⊠ ⊠"

Profile Picture of Amileah Sutliff
Amileah Sutliff

Amileah Sutliff is a New York-based writer, editor and creative producer and an editor of the book The Best Record Stores in the United States.

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