UPDATE: Bon Iver have unveiled i,i early, ahead of the original August 30th release date. Stream it below.
Bon Iver previewed their upcoming fourth LP, i,i, with a deluge of new songs: “iMi” (which features James Blake among its massive cast of collaborators), “We,” “Naeem,” “Marion” and “Holyfields,” (comma intentional) and “Salem.”
“iMi” opens with a heavily processed Blake vocal warble before settling into a tranquil nylon-string guitar pattern, soft electronics and a wall of Justin Vernon’s soulful vocals. “We” rides a bluesy bassline and a heavy sax section, with Vernon navigating his lower falsetto. “Naeem” finds Vernon belting over a gospel piano, building to a choral-stacked chorus. “Marion” is the most minimal of the new cuts, spotlighting the singer’s falsetto over subtle orchestrations and nimble, finger-picked acoustic guitars. Pulsing electronics and synths drive the atmospheric “Holyfields,” before a haunting string section swells in its final section.
The five tracks follow a quartet of previously issued songs from i,i (pronounced “i comma i”): “Hey, Ma,” “U (Man Like),” “Jelmore” and “Faith.” The album, out August 30th, also features contributions from Bruce Hornsby, Sean Carey and the National’s Aaron and Bryce Dessner, among others.
The band recently streamed the album in full during worldwide listening parties at 61 locations, primarily record stores. They will promote the record on a North American tour featuring openers Feist, Sharon Van Etten, Yo La Tengo and Indigo Girls at various dates; the trek launches August 31st in Missoula, Montana and concludes October 19th in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Bon Iver hyped the tour with a mini-documentary, Bon Iver: Autumn, that highlights how they’re presenting their music for an arena setting.