August 16, 2009

Bon Iver + Collections of Colonies of Bees = Volcano Choir

After the wildly successful and brilliant Bon Iver debut For Emma, Forever Ago, the doors were open for the multi-talented and unworldly-voiced Justin Vernon to explore whatever musical path he saw fit. Vernon chose to make a record with his favorite band and fellow Wisconsinites—the experimentally inclined Collections of Colonies of Bees. Together, they are the Volcano Choir.

The group's debut, Unmap, is due out September 22nd on Jagjaguwar. And "Island, IS" is the first song to emerge from the project: a pulsing gathering of synthesizer swirls and looped guitar riffs that lift, sway, and dive, churning a seemingly unreal but convincingly intimate landscape for Vernon to exhale his soulful instrument. In contrast to Bon Iver, Vernon's singing here is relatively similar; but instrumentally, it's as far out as if his acoustic guitar had been replaced with a Medusa-like collective of interweaving textures—simultaneously bizarre and beautiful.

Volcano Choir - "Island, IS" (from Unmap)

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