NEWS: Astronautalis, Justin Vernon, S. Carey, and Ryan Olson start a band

Un-named new band

Astronautalis (genre-bending rapper Andy Bothwell), Justin Vernon (of Bon Iver fame), S. Carey (Sean Carey, known for his work with Bon Iver and his solo output), and Ryan Olson (aka Arson Only, founder of Gayngs, and member of Marijuana Deathsquads) have formed a new band – and tracking for their album is complete already!

I’ve gone all Storify on it below, collecting all of the information I can find so far from each of their Twitter accounts and Facebook, but what can we expect from this new project?

To be honest, I think it’ll be a bit of a surprise to everyone. Carey’s drumming is nothing short of stunning, as I observed when he performed with Bon Iver at the Opera House, and I don’t think there’s much he couldn’t do. Olson’s noisey, experimental work with Marijuana Deathsquads could throw something unexpected into the mix, and Astronautalis’ sophisticated flow is sure to show up. As for Vernon, it’s been confirmed his vocal talents will be making an appearance, but apart from that, who can tell.

All we can know for sure, is that it’s going to be a very interesting collaborative effort from 4 very talented musicians. All they need now is a name!

Check out my Storify piece below for more info, and follow the four of them (Astronautalis seems to be the most frequent updater) on Twitter to keep up with the project.

[View the story “NEWS: Astronautalis, Justin Vernon, S. Carey, and Ryan Olson start a band” on Storify]

VIDEO: Bon Iver performs at AIR Studios (4AD/Jagjaguwar Session)

Bon Iver 4AD

I am stunned. I truly am.

I began watching this video under the impression that I’d quickly bookmark it in favour of sleep. It’s now 3.30am, and I watched the whole damn thing.

This is real art. This is two people sitting down at a couple of pianos, making music that speaks to the heart. Music that makes you feel something. Justin Vernon and Sean Carey reinterpret these Bon Iver songs (and a Bonnie Raitt cover) with such poise and artistry – in such a genuine manner – that it’s impossible to not be captivated by their performance.

I don’t care how many generalisations I’m about to make – no matter what I say, there will always be an exception and someone to argue it. But it doesn’t matter how many “fans” any superficial dance-floor “Yeah-I’m-out-getting-smashed-off-my-face-and-trying-to-have-sex-with-everyone” popstar has. It really doesn’t. It’s one thing to make people dance and give in to basic primal urges, but it’s another thing entirely to make people feel. It’s another thing to stir emotions so complex and diverse, so powerful and evocative, that no two people ever respond in quite the same way. Which is why artists like Bon Iver, who can do just that, will always be valued – even if it may not be by the majority. This music will mean much, much more, to Bon Iver’s fans, than any of that other music ever will. Because at the end of the day, this is music that makes a real connection. It speaks to something more lasting in all of us.

Do yourself a favour. Shut out any distractions, dim the lights, and spend 25 minutes watching this. You won’t regret it.

1. Hinnom, TX
2. Wash.
3. I Can’t Make You Love Me
4. Babys
5. Beth/Rest