Bon Iver played a set of entirely new music at the Eaux Claires Festival on Friday night according to press accounts. As the band was onstage, a press release was sent out announcing their first album in five years, and even better, that it’ll be released in just a few weeks. The new songs they were playing was actually the entire album.
The record is entitled 22, A Million and will be released September 30th on Jagjaguwar. The press release explains a bit about the record:
22, A Million is part love letter, part final resting place of two decades of searching for self-understanding like a religion. And the inner-resolution of maybe never finding that understanding. The album’s 10 poly-fi recordings are a collection of sacred moments, love’s torment and salvation, contexts of intense memories, signs that you can pin meaning onto or disregard as coincidence. If Bon Iver, Bon Iver built a habitat rooted in physical spaces, then 22, A Million is the letting go of that attachment to a place.
The “22” part of the album’s title refers to Justin Vernon himself, according to a bio by Vernon’s collaborator/friend Trever Hagen: “22 stands for Justin. The number’s recurrence in his life has become a meaningful pattern through encounter and recognition. A mile marker, a jersey number, a bill total. The reflection of ‘2’ is his identity bound up in duality: the relationship he has with himself and the relationship he has with the rest of the world. A Million is the rest of that world: the millions of people who we will never know, the infinite and endless, everything outside one’s self that makes you who you are. This other side of Justin’s duality is the thing that completes him and what he searches for.”
Bon Iver also released 2 new songs, in addition to the album announcement: “22 (OVER S∞∞N)” and “10 d E A T h b R E a s T ⚄ ⚄.” You can hear the new songs below: