Indie folk legends Bon Iver have returned with flying colors with the release of a dual single, coinciding with the announcement of their new album 22, A Million (details and the tracklist can be found here). The two tracks released on the single, '22 (OVER S∞∞N)' and '10 d E A T h b R E a s T ⚄ ⚄' may have off-putting titles, but their unique blending of style says otherwise.
"22" is the folkier of the two tracks. Beginning with a continuous synth and a pitched-up vocal, the mastermind behind the band Justin Vernon sings clearly with a longing in his voice as reverberating and twangy guitars kick in. The track is a brilliant buildup of vocal and electronic layering, with tastes of sweet guitar interspersed throughout. The way Vernon longingly sings, "Where you gonna look for confirmation, and if it's ever gonna happen? So as I'm standing at the station, it might be over soon," sounds so heartbreakingly familiar. The song's a love song - it's about how love can get you through moments of uncertainty. The chords of the song progress in such a satisfying way that make the message all the more sweeter, and the symphonic bit at the end is just a beautiful ending.
"10" is a complete different story. Its distorted beat accompanies effected vocals that come in with wonderful harmonies. The vocals of the verse follow the same melodic formula as "22," but sound much more distorted. This track has a bigger electronic and eclectic influence in it than the last track; it's a different vibe. It has a lot of great moments in it, such as the string punches as the chorus takes out the song and the brass section at the end, acting much in the same way as the string section did in the previous song, but with a more bombastic flair, adding a different mood and color to the song.
Both songs appear as extended versions, but according to the track times, are only about 30 seconds longer than the versions found on the album. If these tracks are any indicators of what's to come on 22, A Million, an amazing album is on the way. Let's watch Bon Iver deliver, which won't be a problem for them.
22 Rating: 80 / 100
10 Rating: 78 / 100