Volcano Choir: Unmap

Music Reviews Volcano Choir
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Volcano Choir: <em>Unmap</em>

At least a year prior to retiring to the remote Wisconsin cabin where Bon Iver’s For Emma, Forever Ago was conceived and committed to tape, Justin Vernon and his fellow cheeseheads Collections of Colonies of Bees had been collaborating on something less concrete but, at once, still familiar to those whose tastes ran toward Bon Iver’s icy, snowbound acoustic snapshots. Three years after beginning this side project, it now has a name—Volcano Choir—and an aural map of the ground they covered, Unmap.

In short: This is the experimental side of Bon Iver. The collab is a combination of the sonic elements that made Emma such an indie-underground favorite (massed vocals—all sung by Vernon; acoustic scaffolding tented on top by mournful melodies) but will also remind listeners of the provenance of Collections of Colonies of Bees, formerly a math-rock combo called Pele that could give Tortoise a run for their money on the time/space elasticity continuum.