Wisconsin singer/songwriter Justin Vernon of Bon Iver fame has kept busy for the past several years with not just Bon Iver but numerous other bands and collaborations. Of all the non-Bon Iver projects, the album that always stood out the most to me was Volcano Choir’s debut Unmap, an art-rock collective Vernon created with members of Wisconsin experimental rock band Collections of Colonies of Bees. The album was ambitious and more out-of-the-box then the Walden Pond/winter-cabin folk of Bon Iver, but was still centered in memorable pop hooks. The band’s followup, Repave, sees Volcano Choir reaching extraordinary heights, making atmospheric stadium rock that should be held up in the same regard as Vernon’s two dynamic Bon Iver records.
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