Bon Iver frontman Justin Vernon is readying the follow up to the 2007 debut, For Emma, Forever Ago, for release in June.
Kanye West’s favourite auto-tuned folk singer told Rolling Stone that the ten track album will open with a track titled Perth, which was inspired by a “rejuvenating experience” Vernon had while on tour in Australia. According to Rolling Stone the song features “a marching drum beat, a childrens’ choir and wailing guitars” and “sounds a lot like birth”.
Other songs on the record include Minnesota Wisconsin with finger-picked guitars, double bass drums and distorted bass saxophone, which Vernon describes as “a Civil War-sounding heavy metal song… sort of chaotic, dense, jarring” and a horn-heavy album closer titled Beth/Rest which Vernon claims is “definitely the part where you pick up your joint and re-light it.”
Vernon famously wrote For Emma while holed up by himself in the wilderness, but claims that he struggled to write the follow up album – “Somewhere along the line, I forgot how to write songs. I couldn’t do it anymore with a guitar. It wasn’t happening.”
So, perhaps inspired by the collaborative efforts on Kanye’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy of his membership in the 23 piece band*Gayngs*, Vernon says he “brought in a lot of people to change my voice — not my singing voice, but my role as the author of this band, this project… I built the record myself, but I allowed those people to come in and change the scene.”
Guests on the album include saxophonist Colin Stetson, who has played with Tom Waits and Arcade Fire and who visited Australia last year as part of the Vivid LIVE festival, and pedal-steel guitarist Greg Leisz (Wilco, Joni Mitchell).