Volcano Choir, Justin Vernon’s collaborative project with state-mates Collections Of Colonies Of Bees, introduced itself with the striking “Island, IS,” a track we noted “released Vernon’s falsetto from its plaintively strummed trappings, pairing it instead with a hypnotic world of COCOB’s loops, synths, percussion, aural ephemera.” Still, as a first shot from the “experimental” project, it read first and foremost as a “song.” Opposite that is the album-closing “Youlogy,” a freer flowing piece that’s considerably airier, minimal, and less structured. Its neologistic punnery is apt: Vernon delivers displaced-gospel vocals while Collections’ craft dissonant ambiance and scattered banjo plucks into something haunted and ethereal. File under: Music for cemeteries. Hear it at NPR.
Volcano Choir’s Unmap LP is out 9/22 via Jagjaguwar.