Ross Gay & Bon Iver – “Catalog Of Unabashed Gratitude”
In 1996, the local scenester and University Of Virginia student Darius Van Arman started an indie label called Jagjaguwar in Charlottesville, Virginia, mostly to put out music from his friends’ bands. 25 years later, Jagjaguwar has become an indie-label giant, putting out music from massively successful artists like Bon Iver, Sharon Van Etten, Angel Olsen, and Moses Sumney, among many others. This year, Jagjaguwar is celebrating its quarter-century anniversary with a year-long initiative called JAG25.
That whole campaign includes a series called Jag Quarterly, and the first installment is the first spoken-word album too come out on Jagjaguwar in 20 years. Dilate Your Heart comes from the poet Ross Gay. On the LP, Gay reads his poetry over unreleased music from artists like Mary Lattimore, Angel Bat Dawid, Gia Margaret, and Sam Gendel. The album’s first single is “Catalog Of Unabashed Gratitude,” a 14-minute collaboration between Bon Iver and the poet Ross Gay.
Ross Gay is a poet and essayist who’s written a bunch of books. On “Catalog Of Unabashed Gratitude,” he reads his poetry over a pretty, droning instrumental from Justin Vernon. Gay is the clear focus of the piece, not Justin Vernon. The music forms a twinkly backdrop, drawing your attention to Gay’s joyous delivery. Check it out below.
Dilate Your Heart is out 3/26 on Jagjaguwar. Future Jag Quarterly releases will include contributions from people like Lonnie Holley, Moses Sumney, Perfume Genius, Sharon Van Etten, and the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble.