Justin Vernon Explains Uncredited Sample Of Viral Stevie Nicks Video On New Bon Iver Single

Bon Iver performed their upcoming album 22, A Million in its entirety at Justin Vernon’s Eaux Claires Festival last month. Last night, Vernon held a press conference to debut the official studio version of the LP, inviting journalists to Eau Claire, Wisconsin’s unopened Oxbow Hotel to hear it and participate in a 90-minute Q&A session.

When Bon Iver’s new single “10 d E A T h b R E a s T ⊠ ⊠” arrived a few weeks ago, many recognized a sample from a popular YouTube video of Stevie Nicks singing “Wild Heart” backstage. And at the press conference last night, as Pitchfork reports, Vernon explained why he used it and why it’s not officially credited:

She requested that we not talk about it in the liner notes. I respected her wishes. Mostly didn’t want to get asked about working together when we didn’t work together. And I totally get that. It’s from my favorite YouTube video of all time. It’s just her warming up in 1981 getting her hair did and singing her song “Wild Heart,” which in my opinion was never properly recorded. There’s this beautiful YouTube of her singing and someone offstage singing harmony. It’s just the best piece of music. That little bit “wild wild wild heart,” that’s that sample.

In addition, Vernon discussed the album’s departure in sound:

I think it’s that thing of wanting to bash things apart a little bit and break through some stuff. And I needed it to sound a little radical to feel good about putting something out in the world. For me, it’s not embarrassing, but the old records are of this kind of sad nature — I was healing myself through that stuff. Being sad about something is okay. And then wallowing in it, circling though the same cycles emotionally just feels boring. For this one, there’s still some dark stuff and whatever, but I think cracking things, making things that are bombastic and exciting and also new, and mashing things together, and explosiveness and shouting more, I think that was the zone. I think shouting. Whispering was maybe the thing before. But this time –[hits his keyboard and makes a loud robot sound]

According to Vernon, the album is dedicated to singer/songwriter Richard Buckner and Bernice Johnson Reagon, who founded the a cappella group Sweet Honey In The Rock.