In case there was a shortage of chill to your week so far, Bon Iver are back and have you more than covered. The group has released not one, but two new tracks on the same day, that see the ambassadors of the ambient and emotive return to familiar, heartfelt territory once again. Furthermore, they’ve also announced a plethora of tour dates across North America booked in for later this year. Noteworthy support from Feist, The Indigo Girls, Sharon Van Etten, and Yo La Tengo is set to ensure variety across the many dates of this latest outing. Check the billed support for your chosen venue before purchasing if you have a preference!
Both new tracks carry deliciously different musical styles. “Hey, Ma” sees Justin Vernon’s signature tones soar over layers of electronica, building slowly towards a vocal swell as the track lulls and blooms into a wave of voice and synth. It’s a tidy slice of indie ambience set against a heart-warming backdrop of home video footage – this gives so much more weight to the song than lyrics on a static background ever would.
In contrast, the video for second single “U (Man Like)” sees the lyrics seep onto a plain canvas punctuated by vivid, if slightly random, animations and clips. However, the static works here. The video perfectly captures the vibe of this largely piano-led number as it bounces along, with cheerful vocals echoing the keys’ sentiments. It takes the winning Bon Iver combination of passionate charm and musical expression, and drops a healthy dose of colourful whimsy into the mix – musically and aesthetically.
These two new tracks, and many of Bon Iver‘s wider catalogue, will almost certainly be performed on the upcoming tour. They will be on the road from the end of August until late October, hitting states right across the US as well as a few select shows over the Canadian border. Venues may vary in size, but the quality and feeling of each show’s performance (by both Bon Iver and whoever lends their support each night) will be consistently wonderful for sure.
Dates for the tour are as follows:
Aug 31 – Kettlehouse Amphitheater – Missoula, MT
Sept 2 – Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater – Vail, CO
Sept 3 – Red Rocks Amphitheatre – Morrison, CO
Sept 4 – Maverik Center – Salt Lake City, UT
Sept 6 – The Gorge Amphitheatre – George, WA
Sept 7 – Pacific Coliseum – Vancouver, BC
Sept 10 – Theater of the Clouds – Portland, OR
Sept 12 – Chase Center – San Francisco, CA
Sept 15 – The Forum- Los Angeles, CA
Oct 3 – Xcel Energy Center – St. Paul, MN
Oct 4 – Allstate Arena – Rosemont, IL
Oct 6 – Scotiabank Arena – Toronto, ON
Oct 8 – Schottenstein Center – Columbus, OH
Oct 10 – Wells Fargo Center – Philadelphia, PA
Oct 11 – Barclays Center – Brooklyn, NY
Oct 15 – TD Garden – Boston, MA
Oct 17 – The Anthem – Washington, DC
Oct 19 – PNC Arena – Raleigh, NC
“Hey Ma” and “U (Man Like)” can be streamed here, while tickets are available to purchase for fan club members via a unique code (log in to find yours) from June 5, before going on general sale here at 10am on Friday, June 7. To keep updated on other Bon Iver news, be sure to like the Facebook page, along with those of Feist, The Indigo Girls, Sharon Van Etten, and Yo La Tengo while you’re at it; it’ll help decide which show you’ll catch!