New Music – 22 (OVER S∞∞N) // 10 d E A T h b R E a s T ⚄ ⚄ / Bon Iver

It must be pretty hard for what was once considered a folk band to escape that shell. It’s much easier for a rock band, or a rap artist, to completely immerse themselves in electronics without losing too much of an audience, but for folk, and all of the traditionalism that comes with it, electronics are alien. Bon Iver, who can no longer be called a folk band, is now something else entirely. Maybe it’s electro-folk, maybe it’s art-rock, or whatever. Justin Vernon’s last album, the second self titled album, dipped its toe in something beyond piano, acoustic guitar and strings, but these tracks only retain the folkish intimacy of that first album. Now, on the first track ’22 (OVER S∞∞N)’, there’s beautifully strummed chords, but also swirling synths and vocal manipulation, plus horns.The lyrics remind me of Radiohead’s A Moon Shaped Pool from this year, specifically the track ‘Daydreaming‘, with the sigh of resignation and vaguer lyrics of ‘There I found you marked in constellation / There isn’t ceiling in our garden’ that retains some of that nature aspect. The other track ’10 d E A T h b R E a s T ⚄ ⚄’, is another sign that Bon Iver have gone down the rabbit hole of electronic music. Maybe it’s all that time spent with Kanye. There is nothing about it has in common with Bon Iver as we first knew it. This is a bit like what Grimes did when she released twin videos of ‘Flesh Without Blood’ and ‘Life In The Vivid Dream’ at the same time, reassuring fans with the familiar yet new ‘Over Soon’ and also going completely new on ‘Deathbreast’. That way, fans get a bit of everything. 22, A Million is another huge album in a year that’s already had more than its fair share of surprises.

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