Last month, Justin Vernon and his Bon Iver outfit debuted their new album, 22, A Million, out September 30. The record is the band's most ambitious yet and sees them swinging for the fences as they take their sound in an exciting and experimental direction.
So far, Bon Iver has shared three recorded songs—"22 (OVER S∞∞N)," "10 d E A T h b R E a s T ⊠ ⊠," and this week's “33 “GOD”"—but yesterday, the band played the whole album for about three dozen journalists at an intimate press conference in their native Wisconsin.
According to Pitchfork, the event was a revealing one, with Justin Vernon touching on everything from an uncredited "cameo" by Stevie Nicks on "10 d E A T h b R E a s T ⊠ ⊠," to the invention of a new instrument by collaborator Francis Starlite of Francis and The Lights to his own reticence to show his face in press materials for the new album. Vernon also taught reporters how to pronounce the album's trippy song names (read: “666 ʇ” = “666 upside down arrow.”) and revealed that he almost quit on the project earlier this year until a longtime friend set him straight. As for the album's entirely new sound?
"For this one, there’s still some dark stuff and whatever, but I think cracking things, making things that are bombastic and exciting and also new, and mashing things together, and explosiveness and shouting more, I think that was the zone," Vernon told reporters. "I think shouting. Whispering was maybe the thing before. But this time—[hits his keyboard and makes a loud robot sound]."
Check out Pitchfork's coverage of the press conference in its entirety here.