Not that he hasn't been busy, what with his globetrotting sidekick duties with Kanye West, his sporadic and sporadically crazy outings with Gayngs, plus a smattering of other projects such as Volcano Choir. But four years is a long time for a highly productive, self-made indie-rocker like Justin Vernon to go between albums. The wait for Vernon's second full-length album as Bon Iver will finally come to an end June 21, the date Jagjaguwar just announced as the release date for "Bon Iver." That's the album cover to the right.
The 10-song self-titled collection was "painstakingly crafted over three years" -- per the press release -- at Vernon's home/studio outside Eau Claire in Fall Creek, Wis. (a former veterinarian clinic). Along with the bandmates he picked up as his Bon Iver tour partners, the recordings were made with string arrangements by Rob Moose (the National, Antony & the Johnsons) and a horn section that included Gayngs mate Mike Lewis. The album's song titles are mostly all geographic in nature, including "Perth," "Calgary," "Lisbon, OH," "Hinnom, TX" and one curiously called "Minnesota, WI." In case you're wondering, the latter two titles are not actually named after real towns (I checked).
It will be fascinating to hear how much Vernon maintained or messed with the sparseness and raw emotion of Bon Iver's critically adored and cult- and Kanye-loved debut, "To Emma, Forever Ago." It will also be interesting to see how that album's success will buoy sales of the new one. The 2009 follow-up EP, "Blood Bank," debuted at No. 14 in Billboard without a whole lot of promotion. Stay tuned for tour news and sure-to-come online leaks of the tracks.