We’re still a month out from the September 30 release of 22, A Million, the first Bon Iver studio album in more than five years. But the band’s singer/songwriter/sole permanent member, Justin Vernon, sat down with reporters yesterday to play them the album in its entirety, and talk through its intricacies, its influences, its origins, and—most importantly—how to pronounce track titles like “666 ʇ.” (It’s “Six six six upside-down arrow,” duh.)
Vernon held the press conference in his home town of Eau Claire, Wisconsin, where he debuted the album’s tracks live last month. According to Pitchfork, Vernon talked about the new album’s more upbeat origins—as opposed to the more somber vibes of For Emma, Forever Ago and Bon Iver, Bon Iver—saying, “I was feeling a lot of anxiety. The beat got me up and out of my seat and made me want to break it down,“ later adding, “I needed it to sound a little radical to feel good about putting something out in the world.”
Vernon also discussed his recent (and disastrous) vacation plans, his collaborations with Ryan Olson of Gayngs and Kanye West, and the uncredited Stevie Nicks sample that made its way onto 22, A Million. (No word on all those conspiracy theories, though.) You can read the whole thing over here.