Bon Iver frontman Justin Vernon has formed a brand new, hip hop inspired band.
Vernon has joined forces with rapper Astronautilis and the pair recorded an entire album last weekend, ahead of Bon Iver’s sets at this weekend (April 13-15) and next’s (April 20-22) Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Indio, California.
City Pages, via Stereogum, reports that the record also features Bon Iver drummer S. Carey and has been produced by Ryan Olson, with the new band working at Vernon’s own April Base studio in Wisconsin.
“This process was exhilarating, and it drove us further. We were originally going to be down there for a day,” commented Astronautilis, real name Andy Bothwell, who freestyled for eight hours over music that Vernon had made. Describing the sound of the new material, Bothwell said: “A lot of my fans are like, ‘Oh this is going to be amazing: Astronautalis rapping and Justin singing choruses.’ It’s not going to be that.”
The project apparently has a name, but the musicians involved have not yet released it. They have also said that they want to put out the music sooner rather than later.
Earlier this year, two time Grammy winner Justin Vernon launched his own label, called Chigliak Records. An imprint of Jagjaguwar, the label Bon Iver are signed to, Chigliak Records will release music that was “never commercially released” or “locally released [in Wisconsin] and never put out on vinyl”, as well as new music.
The name Chigliak is taken from a character on 1990s US TV series, Northern Exposure.