Released in Singapore on Aug 9th 2019, Bon Iver’s fourth album “i, i” is quite a piece of work, embellishing interesting textures, an almost ambient-like “space-out” head space and anthemic vibes that are both somewhat introspective and poignant, yet positive and comforting.
Ahead of the tour to Asia next month, with shows in Singapore and Bangkok, among others, AsiaLive365 digs down into the moods and vibes of the album, and here’s what we have to say!
Yi – The interlude of this piece is quite textural and I am somewhat reminded of minimalist music from the likes of Philip Glass and Steve Reich.
iMi – ‘Yi’ dives straight into ‘iMi’ creating that special “blanket of tones and feels” in the vocals and textures that seem to, while quite lightly actually, almost like floating, also engulf you as you listen to the layers in complete and utter enthralment and stasis.
We – The electronic tones feel in this, with its blue hues vibes, and sultry vocals seem to draw you in. I reckon I know a fellow AsiaLive365 writer who would certainly love this piece.
Holyfields – Sounding more indie folk than the other tracks, even in its title, this piece is incandescent with cadence-like vocals that seemed to dance around it like mayflies in the glades.
Hey Ma – an iridescent and somewhat poignant piece that has silhouettes of being part-indie rock and part-indie folk, reminding me a tad of Imagine Dragons as well as the (greyish) colours in Of Monsters and Men’s ‘Beneath the Skin’ album. Probably my favourite track of the “i, i’’ album.
U (Man Like) – A choral-like piece that would make you feel as if you were in church at the Bronz of NYC.
Naeem – Recently released as music video last week, this song presents itself in a juxtaposition between being somewhat poignant, yet the meaning of the song means “comfort”, ”happiness” or ”pleasant”. There is mention of smoking marijuana (referred to as “toke’’), which further draws the subtle “bleakness” and introspective look of the song. According to AG Rojas, who collaborated on the song, he says that the song speaks of being concerned with the potential for intergenerational healing, and how we choose to engage with that potential.
Jelmore – Another ambient texturally-filled piece.
Faith – A rather anthemic piece with interesting layers, particularly towards the climax (middle) of the song. The end of it reminds me somewhat of Coldplay’s more melancholic pieces.
Marion – A somewhat ode to a lover or sweetheart, almost like an old poem that you may find written in a book, many years later.
Salem – Another anthemic piece, though with more enthralling vibes than that of ‘Faith’.
Sh’Diah – This piece feels almost like the end. As in depicting not just the end of the album, but almost “the end of the end”. The jazzy and brassy layers is calming and placid yet we wonder if it also denotes the resignation of the end…
RABi – The last song on the list concludes the entire feel of the album. It is sad. Yet, the mood of the song feels real. Almost “biblical”. Not celestially or spiritually, but almost on a deep human level, and the thoughts that we sometimes ponder upon.
With such encapsulating moods in the album, some more anthemic than others, we at AsiaLive365 are certainly curious at the atmosphere that Bon Iver will bring come January 2020!
I predict that there will be tears at the concert, and overwhelming feelings…
Bon Iver will play in Singapore at the Star Performing Arts Centre Theatre on 17 January 2020.
Tickets via SISTIC.
Listen to the album here on Spotify.
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