Volcano Choir: Repave
Wisconsin’s Volcano Choir may be an outfit known to most as “the guy from Bon Iver’s abstract side project” — and, with its glitchy, experimental debut, that would would have been an apt description in 2009. But a lot has changed since then, and Repave, the second full-length from Justin Vernon and his beloved Collections of Colonies of Bees cohorts, yields a product that sounds more like a legitimate band and less like a recording project.
Though Unmap seemed more like a series of sketches that dismembered conventional song structures and instrumentation, replacing much with beeping soundscapes and jangly, nomadic sequences, Repave is a re-assembly of those songwriting conventions that successfully bridges the gap between Volcano Choir’s debut and Bon Iver’s self-titled 2011 album. The sonic palette remains abundant with angular keyboards and not-so-organic sounding loops, and the songs remain a vehicle for Vernon’s more boldly abstract lyrics, but it’s evident that the band picked up the pieces of its fragmented map to pave the most sincere path for this album.