Last year, Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon linked up with The National’s Aaron Dessner and a veritable army of indie royalty for Big Red Machine, a project that, if we’re being honest, was more interesting in theory than in execution. Still, that collaborative spirit evolved gorgeously on The National’s star-packed I Am Easy To Find, and now it appears Vernon is bringing a similar sense of camaraderie to his new Bon Iver output.
The ever-imaginative artist has shared two new songs, “Hey, Ma” and “U (Man Like),” his first originals under the name since 2016's 22, A Million. They’re a far cry, though, from the snowy loner-folk of For Emma, Forever Ago, however, as Vernon’s packed each song to the gills with notable guests, including Bruce Hornsby, Moses Sumney, Psymun, Megafaun’s Phil Cook, Wye Oak’s Jenn Wasner, and the Brooklyn Youth Chorus, who also appeared on The National’s latest.
“This project began with a single person, but throughout the last 11 years, the identity of Bon Iver has bloomed and can only be defined by the faces in the ever growing family we are,” Vernon said in a press release, which goes on to describe the act as an “amorphous collective” rather than a band.
Hear the lively, enveloping tracks below.
The new songs arrive with a new batch of tour dates, during which Bon Iver will take the stage with acts like Sharon Van Etten, Yo La Tengo, Feist, and the Indigo Girls. See the full list of dates below.