Justin Vernon (aka Bon Iver) has come out of hibernation to release his long anticipated third studio album, 22, A Million. It’s late September release marked a departure for the singer/songwriter from the soft, chilling, melodic tones of For Emma, Forever Ago (2007) and Bon Iver, Bon Iver (2011) that solidified his place as the top folk artist of the last decade. When looking at the trajectory of Vernon’s art as a whole, this departure into the fragmented, overlapping, experimental 22, A Million, isn’t all that random, perhaps even sonically foreshadowed in some of Vernon’s earlier work. Despite its postmodern pitch and pastiche song titles (“715 – CRΣΣKS”), Vernon’s renowned falsetto breathes life into familiar themes of uncertainty and decay.
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