Daily Discovery: Volcano Choir – Repave

Mason McGough

It’s clear that Justin Vernon is done with making anything but the grandest of gestures. In 2013, when musical bombast is the key to success, Volcano Choir show how a little restraint can make their explosive choruses seem even bigger than what most of the mainstream’s stadium rockers have to offer.

This soft-hard dynamic is undoubtedly due to the players involved in Volcano Choir: On one side you have singer Justin Vernon, the frontman of the Grammy-winning group Bon Iver whose icy, sublime sound is all over Repave. On the other hand there’s Collections of Colonies of Bees, a relatively unknown post-rock group who nail that magical foreground between technical proficiency and erudite delicacy. Their combination is a force just as natural as the stormy waves depicted on the album cover: tumultuous, but adherent to a natural order.

Being a Justin Vernon project, the lyrics can get to be a bit cryptic, but his style of lyricism has always put more emphasis on imagery and feeling than overall statement. When you’re making music as majestic as this, a wholeness of feeling is critical. On Repave, every element is in place.

Recommended if you Like: Bon Iver, Sigur Ros, The National
Check Out: “Comrade,” “Byegone,” “Alaskans”