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October 8, 2016 Jukebox Happy Hour

22, A Million

Micah Ling

22, A Million photo

22, A Million
Bon Iver
Label: Jagjaguwar
Released: September 30, 2016
Length: 10 songs, 34 minutes


The first words that we get are, “It might be over soon.” This entire album hinges on that fact. Vernon seems immersed in temporariness. He’s fierce in his call to think about what’s important. But not in a sappy way. Not in an inspirational way. More, like a dream. Like, how you remember something because it’s attached to a smell or a song: it just lives in you.

To launch this project, Vernon allowed small groups of people to gather around a boom-box with a cassette tape of his new tunes. This act alone is a call for reminiscing on an earlier form of music. Vernon collaborates in so many ways, that it’s not inconceivable that he’s joined forces with the past, and the future.

“Oh then, how we gonna cry? Cause it once might not mean something?” And then “All I’m trying to do is get my feet up from the creek” from “715-CREEKS,” which echoes “Woods” from Blood Bank. That repetitious meditation that regulated your heartrate for a full year. And as distorted and experimental as the sounds here are, they’re matched with banjo, and other things that feel so familiar.

This is a continuation of everything Vernon has ever done. Like when you read a poem that knocks you down; and then you realize it’s in perfect form and scansion. When you realize that hill you’ve been so obsessed with riding your bike up, is a famous mountain—trained on by Tour de France athletes. And you’re like, “Yeah, but that’ still my hill—my song that got me through.” The last words we get are, “Well it harms me it harms me it harms me, I’ll let it in.” It’s time to get to the top: to let things in.


Drink: “Hoboken” from Deerhammer Distillery in Buena Vista, Colorado

2 oz. Down Time Single Malt Deerhammer whiskey
1.5 oz. cherry liqueur
1 bar spoon of local honey
2 dashes angostura bitters
Stir with ice. Strain into rocks glass.


image: Micah Ling