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For some time now, Justin Vernon has been seducing us with his falsetto that seems to reach up as if to scratch the chin of a kitten while simultaneously mending a broken leg. For this, listeners have found a home inside the silence and child-cradling tones existing in his music (most notably Bon Iver)–as if you were laid down on a pillow top and the crescendo of swirling guitars and soulful voices were blankets to wrap you up tight.
Repave is a grown offspring of the self-titled Bon Iver album and Volcano Choir’s debut Unmap. Repave being a sophomore release from the collaboration, the album goes a long way to solidify the group as a solid band. The lyrics are pointing towards the connection between one person and another, and the shared existence and experience of a close group of people. The writing expresses the subtleties and extremities of human life that brings us together. This is coupled with large scores of guitar swirls and vocal harmonies that explode with cacophonous cymbals.
Volcano Choir at times beckons you to listen closely even though all that is happening is a droning organ. When found in those moments of close listening, the first thing following is normally imprinted into memory, and Vernon’s voice is the stamp onto the subconscious. Though melancholy may be tucked into the cracks and crevices of Repave, the focus is not so much on the feeling of gentle sadness but the comforting thought that there is an arm around you.
This album delights. Some will believe Repave might just as well be another Bon Iver album. However, the music in collaboration with Collections of Colonies of Bees brings an almost transcendent nature to the album as a whole. The project and band is a departure from the norm for all members of Volcano Choir and breaking patterns is sometimes the best way to see life move along.
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