How do you follow up one of the most critically-lauded debuts of all time? Especially if you’d recorded that album on the cheap in your dad’s hunting cabin, with the lowest of expectations? While the pressure, for lesser mortals, might have understandably been creatively paralyzing, Justin Vernon embraced it, making an album of such musical scope and ambition – for the record he employed stellar musicians such as the virtuosic bass saxophonist Colin Stetson, and pedal-steel guitarist Greg Leisz, whose played with everyone from Joni Mitchell to Beck – that he hardly could have dreamed of when he was sat alone in the remote Wisconsin wilderness. The record’s so good in fact, that Vernon named it twice
In June 2021, to mark the 10th anniversary of Bon Iver, Bon Iver, 4AD released a special edition on double coloured vinyl, and now another repressing is in the offing, this lovely iteration featuring a beautiful embossed minimal white-on-white Sleeve, with white vinyl to match. Again, this edition includes an intimate personal essay from long-time fan Phoebe Bridgers, recalling how the “massive, sprawling, unbelievably complex” album brings about both yearning for yesterday, contentment for the present, and collective hope for the future.