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New Bon Iver album i,i drops August 30; Hear two new songs “Faith” and “Jelmore”

Eric Christenson

Photo: Graham Tolbert
Photo: Graham Tolbert

The ever-evolving thing called Bon Iver is back, officially, and a brand new album drops in just a brisk seven weeks.

On August 30, the band will release their fourth album called i,i – a 13-track record that features a huge cast of players including contributions from James Blake, Aaron and Bryce Dessner, Bruce Hornsby, Channy Leaneagh, Naeem, Velvet Negroni, Marta Salogni, Francis Starlite, Moses Sumney, TU Dance, and more.

The announcement comes with the release of two brand new tracks from i,i – “Faith” And “Jelmore." At once, it feels like classic Bon Iver with lush folk inflections and mysterious lyrical themes, but there’s experimental layers of spastic synths and glitchy samples more indicative of the band’s current vibe. What we’ve heard of the album so far feels like a culmination of all the music they’ve created over the last decade. There’s an intangible sense of completion there.

i,i
i,i

"The thirteen new songs on i,i complete a cycle: from the winter of For Emma, Forever Ago came the frenetic spring of Bon Iver, Bon Iver, and the unhinged summer of 22, A Million. Now, fall arrives early with i,i,” the press release reads. Is this the end? Is it a pivot to something different? Does it help to ask vague rhetorical questions? Probably not.

The album was recorded in part at frontman Justin Vernon’s April Base studio in Fall Creek, before finishing up at Sonic Ranch, a massive studio space in West Texas which, according to Wikipedia is “the world's largest residential recording studio complex.” 

"It feels very much like the most adult record, the most complete,” Vernon says. "It feels like when you get through all this life, when the sun starts to set, and what happens is you start gaining perspective. And then you can put that perspective into more honest, generous work.”

And as for the meaning behind i,i, Vernon said: "The title of the record can mean whatever it means to you or me. It can mean deciphering and bolstering one's identity. It can be how important the self is and how unimportant the self is, how we're all connected."

Anyway, last time they dropped a record, the rollout included murals all over the world, listening parties, visual teasers, all kinds of wild stuff. So be on the lookout for what’s coming next.

Lyric Video for “Faith”

Lyric Video for “Jelmore”

i,i Track List

1. Yi
2. iMi
3. We
4. Holyfields,
5. Hey, Ma
6. U (Man Like)
7. Naeem
8. Jelmore
9. Faith
10. Marion
11. Salem
12. Sh'Diah
13. RABi

You can pre-order the album now, if that’s your kinda thing: https://boniver.ffm.to/icommai


Previous New Music

Hey, Ma


U (Man Like)