Justin Vernon’s brainchild Bon Iver have surprise-released their new album i,i online today, Aug. 8, ahead of the LP’s official Aug. 30 release via Jagjaguwar. This comes on the heels of the band’s international listening parties, which gave fans around the world an early earful of the album—now, everyone with an internet connection is invited.
One of Paste’s most-anticipated albums of August, i,i is the fourth studio album from Vernon’s increasingly experimental indie-folk project, their first since 2016’s acclaimed 22, A Million, and prior to today, we’d already been made privy to four of its 13 tracks: “Hey, Ma,” “U (Man Like),” “Faith” and “Jelmore.” Thursday morning, Bon Iver released eight more new songs, making them available territory-by-territory everywhere from Sydney and Warsaw to London and Los Angeles. Of the album’s 13 tracks, only one has yet to be released—the opening cut, “Yi”—at least until the album as a whole hits streaming services tonight at midnight.
Vernon recorded most of i,i at Sonic Ranch in Tornillo, Texas, working alongside Sean Carey, Andrew Fitzpatrick, Mike Lewis and Matt McCaughan, with Rob Moose and Jenn Wasner, and additional contributions from James Blake, Brad and Phil Cook, Aaron and Bryce Dessner, Bruce Hornsby, Channy Leaneagh, Naeem Juwan, Velvet Negroni, Marta Salogni, Francis Starlite, Moses Sumney, TU Dance and many others. The album completes a seasonal cycle that began in winter with For Emma, Forever Ago, stretching on through spring (Bon Iver) and summer (22, A Million), before finally culminating in the autumn of i,i. Fans have speculated that this new album will be Bon Iver’s last—if true, it would be quite a way to go out.
“It feels very much like the most adult record, the most complete,” Vernon said upon i,i’s announcement. “It feels like when you get through all this life, when the sun starts to set, and what happens is you start gaining perspective. And then you can put that perspective into more honest, generous work.”
Vernon and company will tour the U.S. in September and October in support of their new record—you’ll find the full list of those shows here. The band recently offered a preview of these shows via mini-documentary Bon Iver: Autumn.
Take in Bon Iver’s new songs and their accompanying lyric videos below (or via your streaming platform of choice here), and revisit a 2008 Bon Iver performance from the Paste archives further down. i,i will still see its physical release on Aug. 30 as planned—you can preorder a hard copy here.