It can be hard to keep track of Justin Vernon, frontman of the Grammy Award winning Bon Iver. In the last year alone, he’s released a bluesy garage rock album as part of The Shouting Matches, collaborated with Kanye West for the third time on Yeezus, and recorded Repave with another side project, Volcano Choir.
Unlike Grownass Man, The Shouting Matches’ record from earlier in 2013, Repave is sonically similar to Bon Iver. In fact, had Vernon chosen to release it under his famous moniker, it would undoubtedly have been one of the year’s most anticipated releases. However, he put Bon Iver on ice in 2012, saying, “There’s so much attention on the band, it can be distracting at times. I really feel the need to walk away from it while I still care about it. And then if I come back to it – if at all – I’ll feel better about it and be renewed or something to do that.”
Vernon may be trying to give mainstream fans the slip, but indie stalwarts aren’t so easy. They track his every move with obsessive fervor – and you can too. The Shouting Matches will play at this year’s Austin City Limits Festival in October and Volcano Choir has a handful of dates lined up this fall, and who knows, maybe Vernon will even get Bon Iver back together at some point.