The Justin Vernon-fronted group played a set of all new material at the Eaux Claires Festival
Bon Iver debuted a full set of new material during their Friday performance at Wisconsin’s Eaux Claires Music & Arts Festival, an event frontman Justin Vernon founded along with the National’s Aaron Dessner in 2015.
The new music will constitute a brand new album called 22, A Million, dropping Sept. 30 and available now for pre-order. This is Bon Iver’s first record since releasing Bon Iver, Bon Iver, the follow-up to 2007’s For Emma, Forever Ago, in 2011. That album earned them two Grammys: one for Best New Artist and another for Best Alternative Music Album.
Extended versions of two songs from the album — “22 (OVER S∞∞N)” and “10 d E A T h b R E a s T ⚄ ⚄” — are both already available via download and streaming services. A lyric video for “22 (OVER S∞∞N)” can be seen above, while the video for the latter is below.
Vernon previously revealed Bon Iver would be playing “a set made of NEW music” at Eaux Claires (where they also played new songs last year) in a June tweet. Then in July, the band released a cryptic video with the caption “#22days.” They began posting artwork on their Instagram the week leading up to Eaux Claires, and Stereogum noticed that a new mural reading “22” appeared in Brooklyn around that time. “It might be over soon,” the mural read.
Although this is their first collection in five years, Vernon released an album, Repave, with the Volcano Choir in 2013, and collaborated with Kanye West — who recently called Vernon his “favorite living artist” — on Yeezus, and James Blake on “I Need a Forest Fire.” “He’s just got his mouth and gold just falls out,” Blake told EW in May.
Vernon has mostly kept mum on the status of a new Bon Iver record, but he did comment on the possibility of one when he spoke to Grantland prior to Eaux Claires’ inaugural fest in July 2015. “I’ve been taking it really slow,” he said. “I don’t mean to get all cerebral about my art, but I’ve been trying to collect improvisations and collect moments. Like, real moments, [and] put them in a pot and serve them up.”
“Our show is our main focus,” he continued. “It’s just about, Play the show and put all of our energy into one show — for once in my life, let’s just play one f—ing show and care just about this one show for a goddamn change.”
Here’s the full 22, A Million tracklist: