Volcano Choir



by RivalSkoomaDealer USER (30 Reviews)
August 21st, 2013 | 6 replies

Release Date: 2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Shout it. Sing it louder now.

After a string of dates with Volcano Choir in Japan, Justin Vernon made an interesting confession. In a recent documentary for their latest offering Repave, he said “I just felt like I was in a rock band for the first time.” Coming together mostly through email on the group’s debut Unmap, the group’s front man and figure-head was still riding the wave of success he’d received for the now legendary For Emma and commercially successful self-titled Bon Iver record. With Repave, Vernon seeks to reaffirm that he can overcome any expectation.

While their debut was more known for an experimental brand of post rock with little cohesion, Volcano Choir fires on all cylinders here, creating music that begins with a whimper and eventually crescendos into bombastic vistas. Each piece flows with unique textures across a barren landscape of sound. Whereas Bon Iver and Volcano Choir’s respective debut albums delivered the sound of a more independent Justin Vernon project, Repave sounds like a collective of musicians. Each song is crafted with atmosphere and texture particularly in mind. Vernon’s voice is a perfect fit for the atmosphere these musicians aim to achieve, showcasing a more bombastic sound that rivals “Perth” on Bon Iver. His soulful croons and haunting lyrics continue to captivate. Lead single “Bygone” displays uplifting guitar melodies with a dramatic chorus that wouldn’t sound out of place on an Arcade Fire record. Vernon’s lyrics are personal, singing about smoking kief, setting sail, and a Twin Peaks reference to the “knights of the northern lodges.” “Comrade” is a fun track with a funky groove over an electronic loop and a chantable chorus that begs the listener to sing along as they listen to the album in their vehicle on a long drive home. “Dancepack” is a throwback to the folk sensibilities of Bon Iver and ends on the powerful line, “Take note, there’s still a hole in your heart.”

“Alaskans” provides the sound that Vernon said best thematically describes the whole record, containing lyrics that grant the album its title. “It’s knowing that you have to change if you're having a tough time in your life or you're just hitting walls constantly. Or you keep having bold spiritual questions that you can't answer. It's usually because there isn't a path for you. You’re not on that path." Repave is, at its core, Vernon’s metaphor for what is possible. The next stepping stone in his musical evolution. He has gone on record to say he may never release another record under Bon Iver. And if this is the next wave he decides to ride, I wouldn’t mind one bit.


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user ratings (258)
other reviews of this album
indigonowhere EMERITUS (4.1)

YourDarkAffected (4)
Justin Vernon's in the empire business....

DelPaxtonsTheMan (4)
Justin Vernon channels his inner Seth McFarlane, and creates a gorgeous album in the process....

Comments:Add a Comment 
August 21st 2013


Album Rating: 4.0

Damn! I didn't even know they already had a record, I should check that out. Loved the first single off Repave. That artwork rules so hard. Nice review!

August 21st 2013


Thank you sir. It's well worth your time.

August 21st 2013


sweet will check

Digging: Four Stroke Baron - Planet Silver Screen

August 21st 2013


Album Rating: 4.0

this is exceeding expectations. Acetate and Byegone are my early favourites.

Contributing Reviewer
August 21st 2013


Album Rating: 3.5

gooood album

Digging: Chester Watson - Project 0

August 21st 2013


Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Surprised by this, seeing how the first one was pretty mediocre. This one pumps and makes me feel stuf

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