February in West Texas. The light low and the days still warm and sweet. The air bright with red-tailed hawk and blue bunting,
with the shink and rattle of the green jay. On a pecan ranch east of El Paso, its orchards running down to the Mexican border
and the waters of the Rio Grande, a thrum of activity—song, saxophone, dancers, drums, guitar, synths; the sound of something
taking shape. Here, 1500 miles from Wisconsin, from where this all began, a new season.
When Bon Iver released For Emma, Forever Ago in early 2008 it introduced Justin Vernon as one of the most gifted songwriters
of his generation and revealed a sound that was distinct—tethered to time and to place, to a season of contemplation and the
crisp, heart-strung isolation of a northern Winter. Its successor, the self-titled Bon Iver, Bon Iver, brought something more
frenetic, the rise and whirr of burgeoning Spring, of hope and sap and movement. In 2016’s 22, A Million, Vernon came to see
something different again: “it was,” he says, “our crazy energy Summer record.”
The band’s fourth album, i,i, completes this cycle: a Fall record, Vernon says, autumn-coloured, ruminative, steeped.
“It feels very much like the most adult record, the most complete,” says Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon. “It feels like when you
get through all this life, when the sun starts to set, and what happens is you start gaining perspective. And then you can
put that perspective into more honest, generous work.”