Album Worth Revisiting: Volcano Choir, ‘Repave’

Album Worth Revisiting: Volcano Choir, ‘Repave’

Leigh MichaelTuesday,28 January 2014

The Snap:

Volcano Choir just played their last show in Seattle, culminating a brief but beautiful USA tour to promote Repave. Justin Vernon, the mind behind Bon Iver, and indie crew Collections of Colonies of Bees comprise the band. Their heritage unites them; every member hails from Wisconsin, brought together by a desire to produce more of the sounds that made Bon Iver such a phenomena.

If you haven’t listened to Repave yet, you can snag the album on iTunes or Amazon.

The Download:

When I first listened to Volcano Choir a lá Unmap, I was disappointed. It felt like a slightly stale version of Vernon’s work under the moniker Bon Iver; it was the same sound, but somehow less brilliant, less beautiful.

Four years have elapsed since the debut of UnmapRepave, which was released back in September, still hangs onto the same sound that enveloped the band’s first album together. But’s it’s bigger — way bigger. The music is louder, the instrumentals more grandiose, the lyrics just a little bit more complex. Repave represents an evolution.

In a Reddit AMA Session to promote the album, Vernon explained of the group’s creative process, “We just … GO. we don’t have the added need to edit ourselves or be apart of some kind of fashion or trend… we care about expression, our expression to be exact.” Repave pulls off this ethos, and they do it brilliantly.

Tiderays” is the album’s opening song, serving as a lyrical foreword for the record. The song feels like it’s constantly on the brink, hovering between a quiet tone and an explosive crescendo. You’ll soon find that this approach is the standard for every song on Repave.

“Byegone” (watch the official music video below) nails the art of the steady, tremulous buildup, expanding the song into a surprisingly emotional experience. You feel like you’re on the brink of something major for the first two and a half minutes – and when the sextet finally breaks it down, it hits hard.

Comrade,” my personal favorite, masters the same balance. It hovers between electronica and acoustics, tapping into a handful of genres that, when combined, make a soup of different sounds. It rocks.

When enjoying Rrepave, do yourself a favor and listen to it on a decent sound system. It’s got a ton of amazing instrumental layers that are mindblowing on a speaker system – and totally lost if you’re listening to it on your laptop.

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Hat Tips:

Collections of Colonies of Bees, Justin VernonReddit AMA Session, SPIN, iTunesImage Credit: Flickr

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