Indie folk band Bon Iver is set to release their fourth studio album, i,i, tonight. The band employed several unique marketing tactics that helped give their fans an enjoyable listening experience in anticipation for the upcoming album. The band held several intimate i,i listening parties in which fans were able to interact with the band and get a premature listen to the unreleased album. But it didn’t stop there, fans woke up this morning to a territory-by-territory release of eight different new Bon Iver tracks. The territories ranged all the way from Warsaw to Sydney, then on to Los Angeles and the United States.
The first song released was “iMi.” The intro to the song opens with a weird tune on the vocal that gives it almost an alien like sound, but then it branches into a beautiful sounding piano with a deep and comforting sounding vocal. Towards the end of the song an angelic sounding harp plays a riff that sounds like it was made for royalty.
“Holyfields” is the next song released. The way the vocals are layered at the beginning of the song give off a dark, yet uplifting feeling while the instruments give off a gospel like delicacy. Bon Iver nails the perfect balance between the two.
“We” has a very interesting beginning to the song. There is a pop sounding bass riff followed by native American chants highlighted by the lyric video. The introduction to the horns halfway through the song really gives it the build up feeling that help deliver a clearer message through their lyrics.
The Piano sound throughout really reminds you of that classic “Lean On Me” piano riff. The panning of the guitar gives the song a more structured and whole feel.
The next song off of i,i is named after the famous Oregon city “Salem”. The beat reminds you of a futuristic techno feel with a video game like sounding keyboard that gets complemented by a warm sounding bass guitar.
The classic Hawaiian slide guitar gives the song a tropical ambiance with a Mumford and Sons style delivery. This track has a laid back on the beach with the wind blowing the trees kind of sound.
“Sh’Diah” is very similar feeling to “Holyfields” with a soft sounding instrumental, but the horn ensemble sounds like something from the Motown era record.
The final song on the album was “Marion”. The song starts with that classic indie folk sounding guitar pattern with an heavenly sounding choir accenting the singer.
One thing all these songs have in common is they continually add layers and instruments that compliment the song in one way or another. The give off a very progressive Pompeii feel, with a Lumineers like style in sound. i,i is available digitally at Jagjaguwar and will be available for physical purchase on August 30th.