So, Justin Vernon, the melancholic mastermind behind Bon Iver, apparently mentioned again that he won’t continue the project that – if we can believe the mythology – was born in a hut after a hard break-up. A lot of people were really sad about it on Facebook and I was a big snobbish meany and said: ‘So what, Volcano Choir is more interesting anyways, you don’t have to be THAT upset.
Ok, sometimes I am a dick, but seriously, although I think that “For Emma, Forever Ago” is a gorgeous album to be completely and utterly depressed to, I wasn’t too impressed with the latter record because for me, Vernon’s vocals had the (warning, made-up word ahead) “Brian Molko”-effect which happens when a very distinct voice is the mere focal point of the music instead ob being part of many other elements. Now, that’s my opinion, so I might be totally off (or totally dickish) here but what Vernon does with his voice in Volcano Choir’s recent album “Repave” is a humble change in singing styles that opens up the music to the awesome experimental sides that are provided by the other band members (a whole big group called ‘Collections of Colonies of Bees‘).
As with Bon Iver, the songs take their time to unfold but now and then break out (there is definitely some rock in there). However, Vernon’s voice is not the anchor but the overall concepts and ideas. You want to keep on hearing because you want to know where it’s going and how the music develops and there is a weird sensation that this music feels very dramatic without actually being too loud. The album cover of a stormy sea seems quite fitting here because the sea has the same strength whilst putting a certain calm in people’s hearts. Unless, there’s giant sea-monsters of course, then all hell breaks lose.