Bon Iver Cooks Up Optical Acid With Trippy 'i,i' Spotify 'Viisualiizer'

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Justin Vernon of Bon Iver performs during the All Points East Festival at Victoria Park on June 2, 2019 in London.

If you've ever seen a Bon Iver show you know that the band prides itself on serving up a mind-expanding visual feast for the eyes to accompany the musical smorgasbord for the ears. Now those two great flavors taste great together in a collaboration with Spotify that launched on Friday (Aug. 30) that provides an immersive experience bringing the singer/songwriter's fourth album, i,i to life. 

The trippy "Viisualiizer" users old-school ASCII art to bring the collection's tracks to their full dot matrix glory, highlighting the "visceral connection between Justin and his fans, staying true to the aesthetic of the record, while also creatively harnessing the album's incredible streaming momentum on Spotify," according to a statement announcing the team-up. The site also provides rolling data updates on the listener stats, running down how many people are currently streaming the album, as well as collective streams, total listening time and trending songs.

The visual representation of how fans are listening to the album on Spotify at any given moment links the album artwork to a variety of Spotify listening data and allows users to customize the animated characters on the screen while getting lost in the floating, shifting sea of ghostly images. “It’s important to look outside yourself for the answers you seek,” Vernon said in a statement. “Even though distilling my mind and heading to the cabin 12 years ago was vital, sharing is the thing now. Sharing and building things without holding on to the concept of authorship is the way. Our music is not ‘my’ music. In fact it never is, for anyone, and that is what i,i represents and how we worked to craft the ‘Viisualiizer’ experience with Spotify."

i,i was released earlier this month (weeks before its originally planned Aug. 30 street date) and the band is slated to hit the road for a North American tour with openers Yo La Tengo, Indigo Girls, Sharon Van Etten and Feist beginning on Saturday (Aug. 31).


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