Despite previous comments indicating a disinterest in new recordings, beloved sighmaster Bon Iver previewed new material at a festival performance over the weekend.
Justin Vernon and friends played the Eaux Claires Music & Arts Festival in Wisconsin on Friday (July 17), a gathering curated by Vernon along with The National’s Aaron Dessner.
During Bon Iver’s headline set, they performed two untitled new songs – watch fan-shot footage below.
Vernon previously stated that the band’s Eaux Claire performance would signal ‘new life’ for Bon Iver.
Speaking to Eaux Claires and his special connection to his hometown, Justin Vernon says, “After several years of touring and playing music festivals of all different types around the world, I wanted to put together an event that would honor what we love about this place — including an independent attitude and blaze orange caps — but also shine a light on less familiar and surprising elements that are already weaving themselves into our future. Having this festival right in my backyard gives me and the guest artists a chance to share familiar work and new creations in a setting close to my heart and different than any other stage in the world. To create this event within view of the Chippewa River — the very river that defines this place — makes it all the more meaningful. We’re fortunate because the Chippewa Valley already has a history of great music festivals. Everyone — the city, the county, and the Country Jam folks — has been very supportive. They’re helping us take it beyond music and into a celebration of film, art, and things still in the works… just walking around the place is going to be an experience.”
However, in a recent interview with Grantland, Vernon casts doubts over the future of Bon Iver.
“I definitely care about the Bon Iver thing a lot,” he said. “But it’s kind of my thing and there’s only so much time you can spend with yourself before you just become an asshole. I’ve been taking it really slow,” he continued. “I just think maybe I ran my course with being able to come up with new moments on the guitar.”