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i,i

Alternative & Indie - Released August 9, 2019 | Jagjaguwar

Hi-Res Distinctions Pitchfork: Best New Music
“There’s similarities and tributaries through all the Bon Iver records leading to this one and that still flow through this one. It’s an expansive sound”. This is how Justin Vernon, the driving force behind Bon Iver, defines his fourth studio album. 12 years of his life have passed, during which his project went from the wintry solitude of For Emma, Forever Ago, to the chamber-pop spring of its eponymous record, to the feverish summer glitch storm of 22, A Million. This fourth season didn’t come easy, either. The promotional tour for the aforementioned third album ended abruptly, due to Vernon’s struggle with anxiety and depression. i,i was created in that aftermath, as a synthesis of his career – a multi-layered autumn where sonic landscapes flow one into the other, and impressionistic instrumentals, glitchy samples and vocal harmonies pile on top of each other seamlessly, before being torn away to reveal the bare bones canvas lying beneath. This retrospective approach to his music is interlaced with cryptic lyrics that seem to ponder Vernon’s misanthropic tendencies: “I should've known / That I shouldn't hide/ To compromise and to covet/ All what’s inside “ he mourns on the electro-folk crescendo of Faith, undercut by growling bass and haunting background vocals. On the album closer RABi, which is a play on the words “I could rob, bye bye”, Bon Iver seems to find peace at last, in a side nod to listeners: “Sun light feels good now, don't it? And I don't have a leaving plan/ But something's gotta ease your mind/ But it's all fine, or it's all crime anyway “. It’s a cathartic finish, for a troubled artist who seems to have temporarily fought off his demons, as well as the audience – we who’ve followed him and applauded him since the beginning. © Alexis Renaudat/Qobuz
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Alternative & Indie - Released September 30, 2016 | Jagjaguwar

Distinctions Pitchfork: Best New Music
The master of fuzzy folk and melancholy country, Justin Vernon showed his genius when For Emma, Forever Ago, his first album produced under the Bon Iver moniker, came out in 2008. This ghostly, entirely mad and haunting folk masterpiece was dreamt up after he isolated himself in the depths of winter for three months in a Wisconsin cabin! The harmonic cathedrals, the mystery of the organ possessed by true grace: everything was miraculous. But Vernon quickly shook off his folk convictions to try out a range of electronic experiences. These changes were apparent on Bon Iver’s second album, simply called Bon Iver, which contained nods to minimalists Steve Reich and Philip Glass and tracks on which the intriguing bearded artist thought himself more a Brian Eno than a Brian Wilson... Five years after this eponymous record, and having worked through some surprising and fascinating collaborations (James Blake, Kanye West, Travis Scott and St Vincent), the updated Mr Bon Iver is re-emerging with 22, A Million. It is this  third album which finally brings together all his experience right from the start. And whether the result is a folktronica carbon copy or not, Justin Vernon succeeds more than ever in merging the worlds of folk and electronic music without either of the two sides managing to tug too hard in their own direction. As for the singing, his falsetto is still just as affecting even when manipulated and tinkered with. And when he uses openly abrasive sounding tones and elements more from soul, the result is impressively dreamy. Like a melancholy, meditative symphony at the heart of an immense cathedral. To add to this fascinating mystery, Justin Vernon has enjoyed giving his ten new compositions unpronounceable (or almost unpronounceable) titles. An experience unlike any other. © MD/Qobuz
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Alternative & Indie - Released March 27, 2020 | Jagjaguwar

Between his 2008 masterpiece, the global hit For Emma, Forever Ago, and 2011's eponymous Bon Iver, Justin Vernon was preparing to shed his old skin. Specifically, this 2009 transition EP, dubbed Blood Bank featuring bonus tracks from For Emma, Forever Ago (the opening Blood Bank and the very folksy Beach Baby ) as well as unexpected interludes of minimalist and repetitive music ( Babys with its whiff of the second coming of Philip Glass and Steve Reich). As for Wood, the fourth track that closes the EP, its use of autotune intrigued not only his long-time fans, but also a certain Kanye West who would sample it on Lost in the World on his album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy... To mark 10 years since its release, Blood Bank has been released in a deluxe edition with bonus, live, versions of the four tracks, recorded in Stockholm, Dallas, London and Paris. Vernon's thoroughly hallucinated and hallucinating spectral folk vignettes become small symphonies of cosmic and new age folk. Intense. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Alternative & Indie - Released June 21, 2011 | Jagjaguwar

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Alternative & Indie - Released February 19, 2008 | Jagjaguwar

Bon Iver is the work of Justin Vernon. He isolated himself in a remote cabin in Wisconsin for almost four months, writing, and recording the songs on For Emma, Forever Ago, his haunting debut album. A few parts (horns, drums, and backing vocals) were added in a North Carolina studio, but for the majority of the time it's just Vernon, his utterly disarming voice, and his enchanting songs. The voice is the first thing you notice. Vernon's falsetto soars like a hawk and when he adds harmonies and massed backing vocals, it can truly be breathtaking. "The Wolves (Acts I & II)" truly shows what Vernon can do as he croons, swoops, and cajoles his way through an erratic and enchanting melody like Marvin Gaye after a couple trips to the backyard still. "Skinny Love" shows more of his range as he climbs down from the heights of falsetto and shouts out the angry and heartachey words quite convincingly. Framing his voice are suitably subdued arrangements built around acoustic guitars and filled out with subtle electric guitars, the occasional light drums, and slide guitar. Vernon has a steady grasp of dynamics too; the ebb and flow of "Creature Fear" is powerfully dramatic and when the chorus hits it's hard not to be swept away by the flood of tattered emotion. Almost every song has a moment where the emotion peaks and hearts begin to weaken and bend: the beauty of that voice is what pulls you through every time. For Emma captures the sound of broken and quiet isolation, wraps it in a beautiful package, and delivers it to your door with a beating, bruised heart. It's quite an achievement for a debut and the promise of greatness in the future is high. Oh, and because you have to mention it, Iron & Wine. Also, Little Wings. Most of all, though, Bon Iver. © Tim Sendra /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released January 20, 2009 | Jagjaguwar

Bon Iver's debut album made a huge splash in 2008, receiving both critical acclaim and near-mainstream popularity as the record fanned out over indie rockers, alt-folk fans, and lovers of quietly emotional and frequently inspiring songs sung by a dude with the voice of an angel. All the adulation was well deserved, because For Emma, Forever Ago is the kind of record that manages to capture a musician's soul and transmit it in a way that truly connects with a large array of listeners. It's an impressive achievement and one that holds up over many listens. Released in 2009, the Blood Bank EP is both a pause for breath for Justin Vernon and a reminder why so many people fell so deeply in love with the record and the sound he created. Recorded over a couple years and in various locations, the EP sounds like outtakes from Emma, but not in a bad way. "Blood Bank," with its subtly propulsive drums and idiosyncratic lyrics, would have been one of the album's best moments. The same goes for the more experimental but still beautiful "Babys," which features both some gently jarring piano and Vernon's soothing, multi-tracked falsetto. The only stretch Vernon makes here is on the closing "Woods" -- in a somewhat bold move, he embraces Auto-Tune and warps his vocals into almost unrecognizable shapes. Starting off as a lone voice, he begins to harmonize with himself and then adds layers of warbling vocals until the song builds to a frenzied, backwoods R&B symphony of weirdness. It's a move that could send lots of people into fits of disbelief but strangely enough, it works -- especially over headphones, where the vocals can envelope you completely. It's probably a direction Vernon won't follow, but it's an interesting experiment that keeps the record from sounding like outtakes (worthy outtakes, but outtakes all the same) from For Emma, Forever Ago. © Tim Sendra /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released April 17, 2020 | Jagjaguwar

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International Pop - Released January 22, 2020 | Jagjaguwar

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Alternative & Indie - Released August 6, 2020 | Jagjaguwar

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Alternative & Indie - Released August 12, 2016 | Jagjaguwar