Elton John Gushes, the Times Facetimes: Bon Iver Press Rolls In

Eric Christenson

Now that this new Bon Iver record i,i is out there in the world in every shape and form, it’s leading to some pretty great press for the band, especially this week. 

First up, a li’l ol’ paper called the New York Times did a deep dive on the song “iMi” for its video series called Diary Of A Song. It’s a cool 8-minute video which finds journalist Joe Coscarelli video chatting with many of dudes involved in the song’s creation including Justin Vernon (of course), Brad Cook, Chris Messina, Mike Noyce, Trever Hagen, Velvet Negroni and a bunch more. It traces the history of “iMi,” a sonically dense and gorgeous tune which supposedly dates back half-a-decade to early experimental recording sessions between Vernon and Hagen. Over the years, they’ve added stuff, shaped it, messed around, and the song in its final version has come to involve 28 people in its creation. Vernon tweeted his praise of the article Thursday: “This thing... wow... rarely does doing a piece of press actually turn out to be art.” I’m sure that’s a direct reference to the myriad of Bon Iver articles published in Volume One over the years, many of which I’ve written myself, and none of which should probably be called “art.” Oh well. Try, try, again I suppose. FYI, there’s a paywall on the NYT website (‘cause art ain’t free) but you can still tiptoe around it to watch the video here: (or, you know, below) ...

Then in another spicy bit of press, Vernon recently appeared on Elton John’s Beats 1 radio show, Elton John’s Rocket Hour, and the iconic, legendary recording artist … was very humble responding to Elton John’s waterfall of praise. Seriously, John (who I guess knows a little something about good music?) is clearly a huge Bon Iver fan saying stuff like "I've been a fan of yours for so long” and "it's such an honor for me to talk to you” and "Oh my God, your new music is so fantastic” and “I love you." It’s very entertaining, and by the end of the chat, the two make plans to collab on something maybe. So that’s cool. Listen to that on Apple Music.

And in a final bit of Bon news, Vernon and his on-and-off collaborator Kanye West reunited as features on a new Francis and the Lights song called “Take Me To The Light” — and it’s pretty good! You can pretty much stream that anywhere, but also, you know below: