Tonight, Bon Iver ended a five year hiatus by premiering their new album 22, A Million in full at Justin Vernon’s Eaux Claires Music Festival in Wisconsin. Fortunately, those who weren't able to attend were treated with plenty of exciting news to ease the FOMO: an album announcement and two new songs.
A pre-order of the album (featuring a September 30 release date) popped up on iTunes along with extended versions of the project's opening two songs "22 (OVER S∞∞N)" and "10 d E A T h b R E a s T ." Both tracks are consistent with the sound Vernon developed on the group's first two albums, which should make longtime fans very happy. Importantly, a willingness to grow and experiment is evident as well, showing up most noticeably on the edgy, lo-fi percussion heard throughout "10 d E A T h b R E a s T ."
Along with the announcement came a lengthy new bio entry written by Trever Hagen on the band's website that gives some background information on the project, describing growing pains the group has experienced over the last five years.
"When it came time to make a new album, the music was all exhausted," an excerpt of the passage reads. "After Bon Iver, Bon Iver, it felt as if the well had gone dry. Confronting himself also meant facing this loss of direction sense in his music. Through different groups of friends—close, passing, new, old—he began to assemble proto-melodies, vague textures and specific moods from hundreds of hours of recorded improvisations. These were the skeleton keys to unlock not just how 22, A Million could sound, but how it was felt, what it was for, what is was about: the power of human connectivity through music."
This early peek should calm any concerns of a letdown after all the hype that followed their massively successful 2011 self-titled album. Listen to both songs and check out the ten-song tracklist below. Bonus points if you can pronounce any of those song titles. For those of you who prefer Spotify, you can listen here.
22, A Millon Tracklist:
1. 22 (OVER S∞∞N)
2. 10 d E A T h b R E a s T ⊠ ⊠
3. 715 - CRΣΣKS
4. 33 “GOD”
5. 29 #Strafford APTS
6. 666 ʇ
7. 21 M♢♢N WATER
8. 8 (circle)
10. 00000 Million