Cryptic. Calming. Chaotic. All of this describes Volcano Choir’s Repave. Justin Vernon from Bon Iver provides the vocals. Vernon’s side project about metamorphosis. It’s a story of two lovers changing in their relationship. The coming together, the intimacy, the struggle, the loss, and the way forward. A story of life in all its beauty and ugliness.
Five Favorite Songs:
All his lyrics seem cryptic, but it appears Vernon is talking to his lover about making a deeper connection with her. We’re taken musically and sonically on a journey where the song begins simple with a guitar and a deep pad, but other instruments join in and form a full band. This parallels with his lover getting deeper as the music gets deeper. Change is coming.
An acetate disk is a phonograph disk. The chorus goes “But I won’t beg for you on acetate, I won’t crawl on you to validate, Tear those numbers down, I won’t be having them around For now. “Seems like Vernon is isn’t the type of guy to be waiting outside a girl’s window with a boombox playing music over his head. “Acetate” is a beautiful indie song mixed with Bon Iver’s unorthodox vocal harmonies.
This song mixes contemporary indie with very experimental stuff. There’s a bunch of vocal harmonies, synths, and random samples. Vernon sees his lover as his comrade even when others don’t, but she is very indecisive. He’s trying his best to change his situation with her.
This is the part where his lover leaves him. There’s a refrain where he says “Set sail” over and over. He’s sent to the north and embark on a new journey ahead of him. The song’s title tells us he’s saying “bye, she’s gone.”
An almanac is an annual publication of information such as weather reports and tide tables organized into a calendar. This song is the embodiment of the future and looks towards it.
Life is hard. Vernon’s talked about his struggles in his Bon Iver album: For Emma, forever ago. Now in volcano choir, he’s navigating his way towards the future. A future where he can look back on his mistakes and form his true identity.