If you have never heard a Bon Iver song, you have at least heard the name floating around over the past few years. The indie folk band, founded in 2006 by lead vocalist Justin Vernon, is most well known for their song ‘Skinny Love’. The song, brought to popularity in the days of tumblr grunge, was just the tip of the iceberg for what this band had up their sleeves. The acoustic, melancholic sound of their first album, For Emma, Forever Ago is nothing compared to the contents of their newest album, i,i.
i,i, Bon Iver’s fourth studio album, was released on August 8 in a peculiar way. Instead of a set full release, the album was released on an hour by hour basis and was not released in its entirety on all streaming services until August 9.
As of today, i,i is only available on digital platforms and no physical copies will be released until August 30. This unusual release was definitely a way to leave fans on the edge of their seats and wanting more.
i,i is the band’s first release since 2016. When listening, you realize why the release of a fourth album took so long. This thirteen track album is unusual in itself, in the most beautiful of ways. The best way to describe the music on i,i is to say it is a kaleidoscope of sounds. So many different pieces, some tiny and some large, coming together to form a thing of beauty. While still sticking to their indie roots, this album does a great job of bringing in elements of rock, radio pop, R&B, and even some techno. The album keeps with the eccentric indie sound the band aligns with while still keeping pace with the evolution of music trends.
The unusual mixture of styles and elements is clear from the beginning. The first track on the album, “iMi”, is riddled with so many layers and mixtures of sounds. The sounds range from acoustic guitar to trumpets to multiple voices layered over one another to radio static and echoing. The other songs on the album follow in suit with the strange yet beautiful blend of music, instruments and other effects. This theme holds true all the way to the last song on the album.
“RABi” is the perfect way to end this album. This upbeat and more relaxed indie pop song closes up the wide range of dynamics within i,i in such a satisfying way. Bon Iver accomplishes something with this album that very few artists can. As a listener, there are no moments of boredness because there is always something new and different happening.
i,i is well worth more than one listen. Personally, my magic number was three. After a musical roller coaster filled with the most unique combination of sounds, you leave wanting to listen again and again. With every new listen of the album there are different things that stand out. New sounds, new feelings, new meanings. The album is new, interesting,and exciting. Each song is different in its own way but they all flow together perfectly and create a beautiful piece of artwork. i,i is a step in the right direction for Bon Iver and a breath of fresh air for indie music lovers.
Bon Iver leaves a lasting impact on listeners with this album. i,i is a reminder that music is art. It is beautifully unusual. This album evokes thought and interest with every note. You will never know what’s coming next or hear the same thing twice and that is the best part about it. Next time you are in the mood for new music, go for this album. You will not regret it.
Categories: Arts & Entertainment