DeYarmond Edison Lives Again Through Mammoth New Box Set

records, book tell the tale of early 2000s E.C. band that preceded Bon Iver, Megafaun, and more

Tom Giffey |

BEFORE THE BIG TIME. DeYarmond Edison's most well-known lineup consisted of, left to right, Justin Vernon,
BEFORE THE BIG TIME. DeYarmond Edison's most well-known lineup consisted of, left to right, Justin Vernon, Joe Westerlund, Phil Cook, and Brad Cook. (Photo by D.L. Anderson)

Whether you remember catching DeYarmond Edison gigs at the Stones Throw in the early 2000s or your Justin Vernon fandom began when you heard him dueting with Taylor Swift, a huge box set that hit the market today will undoubtedly have something that grabs your ear.

True to its name, Epoch is a sonic trip to another time, namely the early years of the new millennium when a talented group of young musicians coalesced around Vernon, who had yet to gain international stardom with Bon Iver. The five LP, four CD set – released Aug. 18 by indie label Jagjaguwar at a list price of $130 – features rare tracks from DeYarmond Edison, the indie folksters whose 2006 breakup birthed Bon Iver, Megafaun, and a constellation of other groups.

The set also includes a 60,000-word chronicle of DeYarmond’s rise and fall, penned by music journalist/executive producer/über fan Grayson Haver Currin, who became friends with the boys from the band – Vernon, Brad and Phil Cook, and Joe Westerlund – when they relocated from Eau Claire to a bigger musical pond in the South.

The Epoch box set. (Jagjaguwar Records)
The Epoch box set. (Jagjaguwar Records)

“When DeYarmond Edison arrived in Raleigh in 2005, they were actively fighting against their own limitations,” Currin writes in the book’s introduction. “That process broke the band and, briefly, a few friendships. But it made everything that’s followed possible. As Justin admitted a few months into the project you now hold in your hands, ‘I learned more in that year than I’ve learned in the decade since.’ Epoch is an attempt to unpack those lessons and, in turn, learn something from them.”

When the band split in 2006, they left behind an EP that languished on MySpace, as well as scores of other songs, released and unreleased, that – despite the future prominence of their creators – have reached few ears.

Epoch will undoubtedly change that with its whopping 83 songs, many of them available on vinyl or digital download for the first time. In addition to classic tracks from DeYarmond Edison’s releases and live shows, it includes songs from the band’s predecessor, Mount Vernon, as well as early solo recording by Vernon and work by Megafaun (which the Cooks and Westerlund created after Vernon returned to Wisconsin, where he recorded Bon Iver’s debut, For Emma, Forever Ago). For listeners, it all amounts to a comprehensive trip down memory lane – even if these particular memories are new for some of us.

Learn more about the release and see a track listing at