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It’s just Justin January 9, 2010

Posted by Patrick in Muzak.
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Before there was Bon Iver (and Volcano Choir), there was Justin Vernon – the solo artist. Not that Bon Iver isn’t as good as a solo vehicle for Vernon, but I only discovered last week that he had actually produced an album of his own, Hazeltons, before he infamously locked himself in a cabin for three months and wrote For Emma.

His solo effort isn’t a million miles away from Bon Iver’s stuff, but it’s a lot simpler, with most tracks comprising mainly acoustic guitar and Vernon’s voice.

Perhaps the strangest part of the whole thing is that he sings with a bit more of an accent, there’s a bit more grit in his voice than there is in Bon Iver’s falsetto-laced tracks. That said, any Bon Iver fans may actually prefer this to their divisive autotune-y Blood Bank EP.

Apparently only 100 copies were made of this album, “in long paper sleeves with various nature photos”. Guess we missed that boat. It is available online unofficially, but to tell you how to get it would be completely wrong and possibly illegal.

Check out the title track from the album, Hazelton, below.

Hazelton – Justin Vernon (download)

[MP3 courtesy of PeerValidated]
[Image: PopSecret]

An Island from the Volcano September 19, 2009

Posted by Patrick in Muzak.
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Picture 6

Some time ago, I mentioned Volcano Choir, a new side project courtesy of Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon. The first track from the group’s debut album hit the internet last month, I just wasn’t here to blog about it. It’s called “Island, IS” and as expected, it’s a lot more experimental than the stuff that we’re used to from Vernon.

It’s interesting to hear Vernon’s trademark falsetto vocals over an instrumental loop rather than an acoustic guitar, and while I like “Island, IS”, there’s just too much going on for me. Hopefully the rest of the album will prove more to my taste but for the moment, Bon Iver comes out on top.

Listen below…

Volcano Choir – Island, IS (download)

[Image: Illiot Gould]

A Choired Taste July 6, 2009

Posted by Patrick in Muzak.
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“Bon Iver” frontman Justin Vernon is joining forces with fellow Wisconsonites “Collections of Colonies of Bees” under the title “Volcano Choir” for an album that will be released in September entitled Unmap.

While there’s no actual tracks to sample by “Volcano Choir” at the moment, the tracklist (below) and cover (top of post – doesn’t it kind of look like one of the creatures from “The Village”?) has been released. It’s not quite the new “Bon Iver” album I was hoping for, but that’s apparently in the works too.

01 Husks and Shells
02 Seeplymouth
03 Island, IS
04 Dote
05 And Gather
06 Mbira in the Morass
07 Cool Knowledge
08 Still
09 Youlogy

Interestingly, the album may have quite a different sound to what we’re used to from Vernon. He says, “I sing on it, but there aren’t a lot of lyrics– it’s definitely more on the experimental side of things.”

In place of a bit of Volcano Choir music which unfortunately is not available at the mo, I give you Bon Iver’s lovely live performance of Skinny Love from Glastonbury 2009.

Bon Iver – Skinny Love (Live at Glastonbury 2009)

Volcano Choir’s debut LP, Unmap, is out September 22 (Sept. 21 in the UK)

[via Jagjaguwar]
[Image: TheTripWire]

Bon Iver for a Good Summer May 19, 2009

Posted by Patrick in Muzak.
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Bon Iver, a band (although they’re not really a band considering it’s mostly just Justin Vernon…) that has been going since about 2007 caught my attention last September. I had hoped by now that I’d have seen them live, however so far there’s been nothing, in Dublin at least.

They have however announced one date, playing at the Festival Big Top in Galway on 23rd July. It’s a bit awkward but it might be worth the trip up to Galway…

Aside from their debut album “For Emma” (tracks from which have appeared in every television show from Grey’s Anatomy to Skins to United States of Tara) and EP “Blood Bank” (which even included some unexpected vocoder action on “Woods”), they also contributed some tracks to charity compilation “Dark Was The Night” like the amazing “Brackett, WI”.

If you need any more reasons to check them out look no further than below, an acapella version of “For Emma” from the La Blogotheque podcast.

[Image: La Blogotheque]