Bon Iver announced the name and release date of the band’s fourth album on Thursday (July 11). The 13-track i,i is due out on Aug. 30 on Jajaguwar Records and fans can now dig into the lyric videos for the mind-expanding songs “Jelmore” and “Faith.”
According to a statement, “the thirteen new songs on i,i complete a cycle: from the winter of For Emma, Forever Ago came the frenetic spring of Bon Iver, Bon Iver, and the unhinged summer of 22, A Million. Now, fall arrives early with i,i.” Two tracks from the album, “Hey, Ma” and “U (Man Like),” were released in June and singer Justin Vernon describes the vibe of the collection as feeling “very much like the most adult record, the most complete. It feels like when you get through all this life, when the sun starts to set, and what happens is you start gaining perspective. And then you can put that perspective into more honest, generous work.”
The songs were recorded at Sonic Ranch in West Texas and April Base in Wisconsin with a band that included Sean Carey, Andrew Fitzpatrick, Mike Lewis, Matt McCaughan and Vernon, with contributions from Rob Moose and Jenn Wasner, as well as James Blake, Brad and Phil Cook, Aaron and Bryce Dessner (The National), Bruce Hornsby, Channy Leaneagh, Naeem, Velvet Negroni, Marta Salogni, Francis Starlite, Moses Sumney, TU Dance, and many more.
“It allowed us to feel confident and comfortable, to be completely free of distraction,” Vernon says of moving the sessions from his homebase of Wisconsin to Texas, where the sprawling crew sometimes used all five of the studio’s live rooms at once. “I don’t think I left the property in six weeks. And in many ways the story of the album is the story of those six weeks rather than the almost six years of some of the songs.” On the moody, halting “Jelmore,” Vernon sings “And one by one, by one we’ll all be gone/ We’ll all be gone by the fall,” over a beeping Omnichord and blasts from a prepared trumpet, while the expansive, pastoral “Faith” features a lush arrangement accented by the Brooklyn Youth Chorus and a tangle of classical strings and gently strummed guitar.
In keeping with his signature cryptic song and album nomenclature, Vernon says i,i‘s title can “mean whatever it means to you or me. It can mean deciphering and bolstering one’s identity. It can be how important the self is and how unimportant the self is, how we’re all connected.” Following the release of the album — available for pre-order here now — the band will tour the U.S. in Sept. and Oct., performing in arenas and amphitheaters for their largest outing to date.
The new album will be released the day before eligibility closes for the 62nd annual Grammy Awards. The band won two 2011 Grammys — best new artist and best alternative music album — for Bon Iver, Bon Iver. They were also nominated in the latter category for their 2016 followup, 22, A Million.
Check out the track listing, tour dates and lyric videos below.
i,i Track List
“U (Man Like)”
Bon Iver tour dates:
July 11 – Madrid, ES @ Mad Cool Festival
July 13 – Oeiras, PT @ NOS Alive
July 16 – Lyon, FR @ Les Nuits De Fourvière
July 17 – Verona, IT @ Castello Scaligero, Villafranca di Verona
July 19 – Wiesbaden, DE @ Schlachthof
July 21 – Gräfenhainichen, DE @ Melt Festival
Aug. 31 – Missoula, MT @ KettleHouse Amphitheater*
Sept. 2 – Vail, CO @ Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater∞
Sept. 3 – Morrison, CO @ Red Rocks Amphitheatre∞
Sept. 4 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Maverik Center∞
Sept. 6 – George, WA @ The Gorge Amphitheatre∞
Sept. 7 – Vancouver, BC @ Pacific Coliseum∞
Sept. 10 – Portland, OR @ Theater of the Clouds∞
Sept. 12 – San Francisco, CA @ Chase Center∞
Sept. 15 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Forum∞
Oct. 3 – St. Paul, MN @ Xcel Energy Center†
Oct. 4 – Rosemont, IL @ Allstate Arena†
Oct. 6 – Toronto, ON @ Scotiabank Arena†
Oct. 8 – Columbus, OH @ Schottenstein Center†
Oct. 10 – Philadelphia, PA @ Wells Fargo Center†
Oct. 11 – Brooklyn, NY @ Barclays Center‡
Oct. 15 – Boston, MA @ TD Garden†
Oct. 17 – Washington, DC @ The Anthem†
Oct. 18 – Washington, DC @ The Anthem†
Oct. 19 – Raleigh, NC @ PNC Arena†
*w/ Indigo Girls
∞ w/ Sharon Van Etten
† w/ Feist
‡ w/ Yo La Tengo