It’s not like sensitive bearded men in plaid shirts have had a dearth of sad, sensitive music to listen to over the past few years or anything. But one of the most sensitive, beardiest of them all—Bon Iver—has still been missed. Although bandleader Justin Vernon’s continued to put out music via side projects and collaborations with his good buddy Kanye West, it’s been five years since the second, self-titled Bon Iver album. And last summer, Vernon said not to expect any new music under that name any time soon.
Well, a year is a little more than “soon,” right? Because something is definitely happening in Bon Iver land, as Vernon—or, more specifically, his label’s social-media people—have been hinting at new music with occult-influenced Instagram art and the hashtag #22Days. There’s even a video:
As Pitchfork points out, a mural with the same imagery has also appeared on a street corner in Brooklyn, presumably because not enough people would see it on the side of a barn in a snowy Midwestern field.
It’s all pointing to Bon Iver’s performance at the Eaux Claires festival in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, this weekend, where on Friday night Vernon and whoever’s playing backup with him at this point will reportedly debut a new Bon Iver album live. A title and release date for the album have yet to be announced, though, so there’s always the possibility that Vernon might pull a Frank Ocean on those of us not lucky enough to attend the festival.
So for Bon Iver superfans craving new music, our advice remains the same as always—get thee to Wisconsin.
Bon Iver Summer/Fall 2016
08-12 Eaux Claire, WI—Eaux Claires
08-13 Eaux Claire, WI - Eaux Claires
10-18 Oakland, CA - Fox Theater
10-19 Oakland, CA - Fox Theater
10-22 Orange County, CA - Beach Goth Festival
10-23 Los Angeles, CA - Hollywood Bowl
10-26 San Diego, CA - Copley Symphony Hall