Bon Iver, Bon Iver / / is the second studio album from American indie folk band Bon Iver, released on June 17, 2011. The album is composed of 10 songs and was seen as a new musical direction for the band. The album was commercially successful, as it debuted at number one on the Norwegian Albums Chart and the Danish Albums Chart, and number two on the US Billboard 200 chart. It sold 104,000 copies in its first week in the United States. As of January 2012 , the album has sold a total of 357,811 copies in the United States. It received very positive reviews from critics, some of which named it one of the best albums of 2011. The album won the Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Album at the 2012 ceremony, while the song "Holocene" was nominated for Song of the Year and Record of the Year.
Bon Iver's second album was rumored to be Letters for Marvin but was later confirmed to be Bon Iver, Bon Iver. "I brought in a lot of people to change my voice – not my singing voice, but my role as the author of this band, this project," said Justin Vernon, band leader and founder, who hired well-known players like bass saxophonist Colin Stetson and pedal-steel guitarist Greg Leisz. "I built the record myself, but I allowed those people to come in and change the scene." The second album is described as an "ambitious musical departure" from the first.
The band announced the release through various media and from the official Jagjaguwar and 4AD websites, on April 20, 2011. The album was recorded in a remodeled veterinarian clinic in Fall Creek, Wisconsin, which was bought by Vernon and his brother in 2008. It was converted into April Base Studios, built mainly over the defunct swimming pool attached to the clinic. Vernon's reason for recording in the location was that "[it's] been a wonderful freedom, working in a place we built. It's also only three miles from the house I grew up in, and just ten minutes from the bar where my parents met."
On May 17, the entire album, for a short time, was accidentally made available for sale on iTunes, resulting in customers buying and leaking the album over torrents and file sharing services. The album entered the UK charts at number 4 on the first week of release.
On November 2011, the album was re-released on iTunes with short films by visual artists Dan Huiting, Isaac Gale, David Jensen, JoLynn Garnes and Justin Vernon himself accompanying each track.
Vernon has stated that each song on the new album represents a place. The song "Perth" was described as a "Civil War-sounding heavy metal song," while the song "Minnesota, WI" was described as featuring "finger-picked guitars, double bass drums and distorted bass saxophone". The closing song "Beth/Rest" is "horn heavy", and Vernon stated he was most proud of it.
The Stems Project
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In August, Bon Iver announced the Stems project, a "call-to-arms remix contest". The project, which was done in collaboration with Indaba Music and Spotify, allows fans to download original stems of all the songs from the album. Each of the album's songs will have its own contest and the winners' songs will be compiled on a remix album.
The album received acclaim from most music critics upon its release. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 86, based on 42 reviews, which indicates "universal acclaim." Paste and Pitchfork Media named the album their top album of 2011, while Stereogum, Q, Uncut, Spin, and Mojo placed it at number 3, 4, 9, 14, and 16 respectively, on their "Top 50 Albums of 2011" lists.
Tim Sendra, of Allmusic, however, gave the album a negative review. The criticism stems mainly from the album's departure in sound from Bon Iver's previous work. He accuses the album of being too overblown due to the additional instruments and not as intimate as For Emma, saying, "He was doing just fine on his own and didn't need all those people and instruments cluttering up the air."
Bon Iver, Bon Iver won Best Alternative Music Album at the 2012 Grammy Awards, while the band won Best New Artist for their work on it. Bon Iver was also nominated for Best International Male and Best International Newcomer at the 2012 Brit Awards.
All songs written and composed by Justin Vernon, except where noted.
||"Calgary" (Vernon, Matt McCaughan)
The people involved in the making of Bon Iver, Bon Iver were:
- Bon Iver
- Justin Vernon – banjo, bass, choir, chorus, composer, cymbals, drums, ebow, finger cymbals, guitar, baritone guitar, electric guitar, nylon string guitar, hands, Korg M1, piano, tremolo, vocals
- Matt McCaughan – brushes, composer, drums, snare drum, handclapping, Roland 909
- Sean Carey – bowed vibes, choir, chorus, drums, processing, vibraphone, voices
- Colin Stetson – clarinet, flute, alto saxophone, baritone saxophone, bass saxophone, saxophone
- Greg Leisz – pedal steel guitar
- Michael Lewis – alto saxophone, soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone, saxophone
- Rob Moose – horn arrangements, string arrangements, viola, violin
- Carmen Camerieri – French horn, piccolo trumpet, trumpet, trumpet (muted)
- Mike Noyce – voices
- Justin Vernon – producer, synthesizer, mixing, engineer
- Nate Vernon – recording engineer
- Brian Joseph – engineer, mixing
- Andy Immernan – assistant engineer
- Greg Calbi – mastering
- Matt McCaughan – synthesizer
- Jim Schoenecker – synthesizer
- Tom Wincek – synthesizer
- Ken Snyder – synthesizer
- Additional staff
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