Posts Tagged ‘Justin Vernon’

Bon Iver Announce ‘i,i’<span>New Album Out August 30th </span>

Bon Iver have announced a new studio album, i,i, set for release on August. 30th via Jagjaguwar Records, along with sharing two more tracks from the effort, “Jelmore” and the song “Faith.”

As was hinted at with the band’s “Sincerity is Forever in Season” teaser trailer, released earlier this month, this is the fourth studio record from Justin Vernon’s project follows in the seasonal pattern of the previous three: 2007’s For Emma, Forever Ago (winter); 2011’s Bon Iver (spring); 2016’s 22, A Million (summer); and now i,i representing the fall.

“It feels very much like the most adult record, the most complete,” Vernon says in a press announcement for the album. “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 recorded i,i at Wisconsin’s April Base and Texas’ Sonic Ranch studios and, according to the press release, at times used all five studio rooms of the latter location simultaneously. For the sessions, Vernon was joined by a band comprising Sean Carey, Andrew Fitzpatrick, Mike Lewis, Matt McCaughan, Rob Moose and Jenn Wasner, along with contributions from James Blake, Brad and Phil Cook, Aaron and Bryce Dessner, Bruce Hornsby and several others.

“The title of the record can mean whatever it means to you or me,” Vernon says. “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 will head out on a North American tour in the late summer and fall this year, kicking off August. 31st in Missoula, MT.  the two new i,i singles (which follow up the previously released “Hey, Ma” and “U (Man Like)”) .

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Bon Iver (the project of Justin Vernon) shared two new songs, “Hey Ma” and “U (Man Like),” via lyric videos for each track. They also announced some new tour dates and launched a new website (www.icommai.com). The songs feature a slew of special guests, including Jenn Wasner of Wye Oak and Flock of DimesMoses Sumney, and Bruce Hornsby. We were torn between the two, but settled on “U (Man Like)” as our favorite of the two, with “Hey Ma” an honorable mention below.

Vernon had this to say in a press release: “This project began with a single person, but throughout the last 11 years, the identity of Bon Iver has bloomed and can only be defined by the faces in the ever growing family we are.”

The official musician credits on “Hey Ma” are: Ben Lester – CP-70 Electric Piano. Psymun – Sampling. Justin Vernon – Matrix 6, Guitar. Brian Moen – Drums. Jenn Wasner – Voice, Guitar. Jake Luppen – Guitar. Buddy Ross – Synth. Rob Moose – Violin, Viola, String Arrangement, Worm Crew Arrangement, Conductor. Brad Cook – Basses. Worm Crew – Horns.

The official musician credits on “U (Man Like)” are: “Justin Vernon – Bass + Voice. Bruce Hornsby – Piano, Voice. Phil Cook – Piano and B3, Voice. Elsa Jensen – Voice. Moses Sumney – Voice. Jenn Wasner – Voice. Rob Moose – Violin, Viola, Octave Viola, String Arrangement, Worm Crew Arrangement. Worm Crew – Horns. Brooklyn Youth Chorus + Bryce Dessner – Choral.”

Big Red MAchine

Big Red Machine was a decade in the making, starting with the sketch of a song The National’s Aaron Dessner sent Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon for the Dark Was the Night charity compilation and culminating with recording sessions with a host of friends. Anchored by Dessner and Vernon, their guests include vocalists like Lisa Hannigan, Phoebe Bridgers, This Is the Kit’s Kate Stables and Arcade Fire’s Richard Reed Parry, and string arrangements from Rob Moose and Dessner’s twin brother Bryce. In all, it includes more than two dozen contributors from the minimalistic PEOPLE music platform created by Vernon and the Dessners to encourage collaboration and sharing. Side projects like this often seem tossed off, but Big Red Machine feels like the opposite—something remarkably ambitious, a labor of love that sees two of indie rock’s most talented and creative minds pursuing a passion without pressure, or limits.

The resulting music can sound at times like a National album with Vernon’s echoing, manipulated falsetto serving as a stark contrast to the warm, intimate baritone of Matt Berninger, and at other times like a Bon Iver album with more complex and inventive chordal patterns and rhythmic structures. It’s experimental but affecting with Vernon’s snippets of heart-on-sleeve vulnerability popping up screaming from a cloud of otherwise opaque lyrics. You can hear the influence of Vernon’s work in the hip-hop world in both the underlying beats and his vocals on tracks like “Gratitude” and “Lyla.” Polyrhythms and the odd time signatures Dessner loves to employ with The National abound, and combined with Vernon’s recent sonic exploration on 22 a Million and sometimes incomprehensible word salads, immediate accessibility isn’t really the goal here. But those complexities and sonic risks are also where the music is most rewarding. Neither The National nor Bon Iver does “happy music,” and the themes running through Big Red Machine are rarely uplifting, but there’s unmistakable joy in the music here, a deep care and love for what they were creating and how they got to create it—among friends who also happen to be overflowing with talent. Fans of either band are likely to share in that joy.

Big Red Machine is a project born out of love for downsized collaboration from two architects of stadium-sized indie-rock bands. Justin Vernon (Bon Iver) and Aaron Dessner (the National) have on this project for years and 2018’s self-titled release is their most expansive recorded output. This is an ethereal listen, straight up; a record to get lost in. You’ll gravitate to new territory upon every subsequent spin, and you’ll certainly hear connections to their day jobs. Vernon is front and center with his penchant for complicated, programmed textures, and Dessner paints around his partner’s vocals with flowery, delicate soundscapes.

Big Red Machine (Photo by Graham Tolbert)

Big Red Machine was a decade in the making, starting with the sketch of a song The National’s Aaron Dessner sent Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon for the Dark Was the Night charity compilation. The duo enlisted more than two dozen collaborators, including vocalists like Lisa Hannigan, Phoebe Bridgers, This Is the Kit’s Kate Stables and Arcade Fire’s Richard Reed Parry, and string arrangements from Rob Moose and Dessner’s twin brother Bryce. Side projects like this often seem tossed off, but Big Red Machine feels like the opposite—something remarkably ambitious, a labor of love that sees two of indie rock’s most talented and creative minds pursuing a passion without pressure, or limits.

The resulting music can sound at times like a National album with Vernon’s echoing, manipulated falsetto serving as a stark contrast to the warm, intimate baritone of Matt Berninger, and at other times like a Bon Iver album with more complex and inventive chordal patterns and rhythmic structures. It’s experimental but affecting with Vernon’s snippets of heart-on-sleeve vulnerability popping up screaming from a cloud of otherwise opaque lyrics.

Alongside the album, they’ve unveiled new videos for three tracks from the record: “Gratitude,” “Forest Green,” and “I Won’t Run From It.” The visuals were directed by Eric Timothy Carlson and Aaron Anderson, and they feature colorful layers of graphics, text, and images.

Aaron Dessner & Justin Vernon are Big Red Machine. A project evolving through the PEOPLE collective.

Here’s music with a great backstory and unique evolution. “Music for Wood and Strings” began with an idea from Bryce Dessner who not only conceived of the music but invented the instrument the music was played on. As So Percussion’s Adam Sliwinski has been playing these “chordsticks” while they perform “Music for Wood and Strings” and explains that “chordsticks are a hybrid instrument which cross the sound properties of an electric guitar with the playing action of hammered dulcimers. In order to write any of this music, Bryce first had to commission the instruments from Aron Sanchez (Buke and Gase). Once he had a few built, he brought them to us (So Percussion) to discover what they could do.“Music for Wood and Strings grew out of Bryce watching us play the chordsticks. He decided that playing string instruments didn’t prevent us from still playing intricate rhythmic patterns! Aside from one string on the bass instrument, none of the chordsticks have frets — each chord is fixed and the musical texture is achieved by bouncing notes around the ensemble. We play them with plain #2 pencils, which started as placeholder beaters but ended up doing the job well.”

Adam Sliwinski says that this track is one of the bands most appealing tracks in live performance even as an instrumental track. “On this new version of the track — we think of it as more than a simple remix — Bryce, Justin and Sean (the latter two, members of Bon Iver) turn the original piece into a compelling background for a beautiful song. We never worked directly with Justin or Sean on the track because our portion is just the first four minutes of our recording. We Love what they have done with it, and are honored that musicians from a band that people hold in such high regard wanted to make something with it that is entirely their own.”

“The chains of collaboration and community that led to this song cover a lot of ground: Some of the members of So Percussion have known Bryce since his days studying music at Yale — Bryce knows Aron Sanchez from his band Buke and Gase who record for Bryce’s record label Brassland — and we’ve since become collaborators with Buke and Gase and recently cut an album with them (yet unreleased). Finally, Bryce knows the Bon Iver folks from his travels with his indie rock band The National, whom So Percussion has also collaborated with. This is a simple song, but the family tree that led to it arises from very rich soil.”

As for the video, it was created by A Noah Harrison, He wrote to say that the video considers “the relationship between man’s creative process and the greater forces of nature that permit it. The video juxtaposes human creation with the destruction of our natural world, and the inherent connection between them. As we zoom into this man-made grid, we see the artist create a form reminiscent of a snowflake alongside the artificial re-forming of polar ice caps. Reversed, water here is sucked from the sea and adheres to the glacier. Near the end of the video, these processes flip: the snow begins to melt in a natural way as man begins to un-create in an artificial way. It seems as we continue to build up our material world, we remix, edit and delete our natural world.”

Justin Vernon and Aaron Dessner Detail New Album as Big Red Machine.

Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon and the National’s Aaron Dessner have detailed their debut album as Big Red Machine. The self-titled LP is set to come out August 31st via their PEOPLE digital platform, as well as on vinyl, CD, and cassette in partnership with JagjaguwarBig Red Machine includes the four songs that Vernon and Dessner released last month (“Forest Green,” “Lyla,” “Gratitude,” and “Hymnostic”).

Vernon and Dessner developed Big Red Machine over the last two years. They produced the album together with frequent collaborator Brad Cook. Big Red Machine was recorded and mixed by Jonathan Low, mostly at Dessner’s Long Pond studio in upstate New York (where the National also recorded much of Sleep Well Beast).

In a press release, Dessner stated, “I don’t think the record would exist without the community that came together to make it.” He continued, “We took the music to a certain point, and then we reached out and sent it far and wide, inviting friends to contribute any and all ideas. We’ve viewed the record and the process from a community standpoint. We’re incredibly excited about it, as excited as we would be for any album we might make in another situation that’s more conventional. But this feels like something new the process felt different and the outcome felt different.”

Releases August 31st, 2018

The trio will release new album “If I Was”, produced by Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon, on 23rd March and here they are with an exclusive live version of one of the tracks from the album. In the meantime the sisters are currently on a UK tour, playing Cardiff’s Glee Club tonight (15th February) Vernon, who produced the trio’s forthcoming second album ‘If I Was’, was introduced by Jessica Staveley-Taylor as she recounted recording their second album at Vernon’s Wisconsin studio over the past two years. Last Night at their London Show he joined them on stage.
“It just so happens that he’s in town tonight, we didn’t know he was going to be, so we asked if he’d come up on stage with us,” she said.
He joined them for ‘Make It Holy’ toward the end of their 90-minute set, joining in on guitar and backing vocals, and sang the second verse on his own. After he left the stage, Emily Staveley-Taylor said: “Music is the most amazing thing, and has let us meet the most incredible people. It’s magic.”
As well as material from their first album ‘Dead & Born & Grown’ such as ‘Mexico’, ‘Pay Us No Mind’ and set closer ‘Wisely & Slow’, the sisters performed ‘Open’ from the ‘Blood I Bled EP’ and 10 songs from their forthcoming album, including ‘Steady’, ‘Teeth White’ and current single ‘Black And White’, which Camilla Staveley-Taylor said was about “being rather angry. Really fucking angry, actually.”

The sisters said about recording the album with Vernon, Camilla described being in Wisconsin as like “being on a school trip with no parents”.
“We were itching to have a break and to let out loads of thoughts and emotions that we hadn’t had chance to express,” she continued. “We were very fortunate to have a place at Justin’s where we were allowed to do whatever wanted. It was the most liberating experience, being able to record until 4am, or while drunk. And there was no idea that was too silly.”

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Emily, Jessica, and Camilla Staveley -Taylor have been making music together since they were children, growing up in Watford, UK, England. Brought up in a house that echoed to the sounds of Simon & Garfunkel, Crosby, Stills & Nash and The Beatles, singing in perfect 3-part harmony came naturally to these three sisters. Having started gigging in local pubs and cafes, The Staves are now captivating audiences on much bigger stages – earning rapturous encores with their exquisite songs of love & longing, their extraordinary intertwining voices melt the most cynical of hearts.

Volcano Choir perform the song Comrade set up in a studio in an old Tannery in Wisconsin, Volcano Choir featuring the wonderful vocals of Justin Vernon.
Volcano Choir is an American indie band that started as a collaboration between Justin Vernon (of Bon Iver) and Collections of Colonies of Bees. Their debut album was “Unmap” and was released on September 22, 2009. A second album, Repave, was released in September 2013.
The project originally came together with songs being written in 2005. It was not recorded until the fall of 2008 in Fall Creek, Wisconsin, USA. Since then, Jon Mueller (Death Blues) and Thomas Wincek (of All Tiny Creatures) have left Collections of Colonies of Bees, but continue to be members of Volcano Choir. They have also added Matthew Skemp on bass, who also plays in All Tiny Creatures.

with so many collaborations and different projects on the go , among them Doe Paoro, Astronautalis, the Shouting Matches, Volcano Choir….. Justin Vernon and his unmistakable vocals  has become a huge influence.

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