Justin Vernon and Astronautilus Tease New Project

Matt Kent/Wireimage

Bon Iver's Justin Vernon

It looks like Bon Iver founder Justin Vernon is embarking on yet another side project, this time with cerebral rapper Astronautilus.

The project, "announced" via a post on label Totally Gross National Product's website, is titled De Oro (or the forthcoming record is titled De Oro, or maybe they just like gold -- Totally Gross and its hydra-headed maestro Ryan Olson, who helped co-write Polica's first album and conceived of the massive Gayngs record, is reliably opaque on the finer details of most things) and seems, judging by the short teaser, to be another step away from the straightforward for Vernon.

The project has been simmering for a long time; a two-year-old interview with Astronautilus conducted by City Pages references the project, which the rapper was unsurprisingly mum on.

So what do we know? That Justin Vernon, who in the past year has released a record with Volcano Choir, recorded with Kanye West on Yeezus and played with Sharon Van Etten, is back to his auto-tuned loveliness. We know that Astronautilus has gold fronts and a big red beard. We know that it sounds sweeping and morose. What more do we really need to know?


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