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Download: Bon Iver Expand Their Sound on 'Calgary'

Stream the first single from Justin Vernon and his band's upcoming album, 'Bon Iver'

May 16, 2011 3:30 PM ET

Songwriter Justin Vernon's debut album as Bon Iver, For Emma, Forever Ago, was about as stark and minimal as records get. With his second album, simply titled Bon Iver, he's gone in the opposite direction. The disc's first single, "Calgary," is full of rich sonic detail, from dreamy synthesizer washes and rumbling percussion to gnarly distorted guitar and assorted bits of noise. Despite all the changes, his band's essential appeal remains the same – it's still all about Vernon's gorgeous, understated voice and his skill for nailing a particular, deeply resonating sort of melancholy. The album will hit stores on June 21st, but you can stream and download "Calgary" today.

 

RELATED: Why Bon Iver Had to Relearn Everything He Knows

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Song Stories

“San Francisco Mabel Joy”

Mickey Newbury | 1969

A country-folk song of epic proportions, "San Francisco Mabel Joy" tells the tale of a poor Georgia farmboy who wound up in prison after a move to the Bay Area found love turning into tragedy. First released by Mickey Newbury in 1969, it might be more familiar through covers by Waylon Jennings, Joan Baez and Kenny Rogers. "It was a five-minute song written in a two-minute world," Newbury said. "I was told it would never be cut by any artist ... I was told you could not use the term 'redneck' in a song and get it recorded."

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