The fourth Bon Iver album came early. Last month, the band announced the impending release of i,i, their fourth album and the completion of what they saw as a quadrilogy. The LP was supposed to come out at the end of August. But this morning, the band started posting lyric videos for the album’s songs on YouTube, sharing them one by one. And then they made an announcement: i,i would be out tonight, and all of its tracks would be streaming by the end of the day. Sure enough, we can now hear the whole enchilada.
Bon Iver recorded i,i at Justin Vernon’s April Base studios in Wisconsin and at the Sonic Ranch in West Texas. The album features contributions from a great many of Justin Vernon’s friends and collaborators, including James Blake, the National’s Bryce and Aaron Dessner, Bruce Hornsby, Moses Sumney, Francis & The Lights’ Francis Starlite, Megafaun’s Phil and Brad Cook, Poliça’s Channy Leaneagh, and Wye Oak’s Jenn Wasner. (Wasner is now, it seems, a full member of Bon Iver.)
Bon Iver albums are always best consumed as a whole, not on a disjointed song-by-song basis. So this morning has been weird! The album’s introductory track, the 30-second “Yi,” still hasn’t been released, but now that every other song is out in the world, we can luxuriate in basically the whole of the album, and we can do it much earlier than we thought possible. Stream the whole thing below.
i,i is officially out 8/9 on Jagjaguwar.