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n terms of this new collaboration between Justin Vernon of Bon Iver and Collections of Colonies of Bees, fans will be surprised when they hear the end result.

Formed in 1998, the Bees have spent a decade polishing their act and aesthetic. Vernon is known for regularly gushing about them during his live set. Combined, the assembly of Wisconsinites have called themselves Volcano Choir, but let the listener beware. Fans of the sublime Bon Iver need not expect to hear a similar indiefolk sound that the world around has fallen for as showcased on his debut album ‘For Emma, Forever Ago.’ Volcano Choir spew an experimental sound that cannot be defined. But one thing is for certain, it is without doubt a very definate move away from what you might be expecting. They offer up something on their debut album ‘Unmap’ that might not be for everyone. With influences ranging from English singer-songwriter David Sylvian and American composer Steve Reich to Mahalia Jackson and Tom Waits, it might be more accurate to say the group’s influence is music itself. While their formation does predate the worldwide success of the melodic sounds of Bon Iver, (they began writing and playing three years ago) it seems that they will inevitably benefit from Vernon’s success as a one-man

showstopper. “The record is really a culmination of a type of electronic that we did for a long time; since early 2007,” says guitarist Rosenau. “All of the ideas we had over all that time were traded back and forth, everyone adding and editing and subtracting and then adding some more, until late last year when we finally started to realize that we had a lot of material that we were all really digging.” With his gut-wrenching voice that makes the hair on the back of your neck stand up, Vernon has become a household name in the past 12 months. But this time around Vernon is will not be singing about a lost love. Recorded at Vernon’s studio, his unwavering falsetto does appear on the record but only on rare ocassions. “I sing on it, but there aren’t a lot of lyrics. It’s mostly choir stuff,” he says. “It’s definitely more on the experimental side of things. I don’t know if we’ll play shows because it’s all really textural and landscape-y.” Created by musicians with rare gifts Unmap is An so the choir certainly worth a of volcanos sang. listen. Just don’t expect another ‘Skinny Love’.

Unmap is set for general release September 22nd from Jagjaguwar.


an exclusice signed vinyl copy of For Emma, Forever Ago What is your favourite Bon Iver song and why? Enter online: Entries for this competition are online only. The winner will be chosen at random by the editor whose decision is final.

Profile for Aoife  O' Connor


Prototype folk music magazine


Prototype folk music magazine