Justin Vernon seems to have big plans for Bon Iver. Since the massive success of his 2011 self-titled album, which earned Vernon two Grammys for Best New Artist and Best Alternative Music Album, he stated in 2012 that he was putting the band on an indefinite hiatus. Recently, the group has been slowly but surely creeping back into the public conscience, as they have played a handful of shows, starting with a set at Vernon and The National's Aaron Dessner's Eaux Claires Music Festival, which took place in Vernon's hometown of Eau Claire, WI. Since then, the band has played a show in Sydney, Australia, and went on an Asian tour in early 2016.
Most recently, Bon Iver's Facebook page shared a trippy and mysterious 22-second video titled, fittingly, "#22 days." Filled with black-and-white abstract animation, it's probably a countdown of sorts to his upcoming performance at Eaux Claires. But the real exciting part here is the music floating in the background? What is it? Is Bon Iver about to drop new music for the first time in years?
Collaboration with Francis & The Lights and Kanye
While Vernon has been slowly bringing Bon Iver back to life, he has been plenty busy producing and collaborating with tons of artists since the band's hiatus, most notably with Kanye West on both My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy and Yeezus, James Blake on his latest record The Colour In Anything, and most recently with Francis and the Lights on their song "Friends." Bon Iver did play a few new songs last year at Eaux Claires, but nothing came of it in terms of a new record, and even with the new video and a few shows on the calendar, the band has no official plans for a new album (yet). Instead of returning in a fiery blaze of glory, Bon Iver seems to have chosen the slow-and-steady approach to a band comeback, which has definitely worked in building hype among their fans. While there haven't been many, their recent shows have garnered unanimous praise, so it's not like the band is running out of creative gas. In a world where we can get just about anything with the click of a mouse, Bon Iver serves as a nice reminder that sometimes a little patience will (potentially) make the payoff that much better.
Collaboration with James Blake