Volcano Choir – Repave (2013)

Volcano Choir is an indie rock group comprised of Justin Vernon from Bon Iver, and members of Collections of Colonies of Bees. Repave is their second studio album and was recorded over the course of two and a half years. Repave is an interesting album that is experimental in both its production and presentation. The first track, “Tiderays”, opens with an organ sustaining a low note. The single note is held while more notes are stacked on top, creating a very drone-like texture. After a while, the freely moving chord inversions finally settle on one stack of notes while an acoustic guitar begins to pluck out a melody. After the first chorus, a throat singer holds a very low note. The second track, “Acetate”, uses significantly lower vocals than the first. The track is fairly static in its progression, minus the changing vocal line. The vocals do a really nice 5-tuplet in the lyrics “having them around”. Later, the vocals sing in a round. Towards the end, the piano has a really nice 5-note pattern that becomes offset, as the song is in 4. My favorite track is “Almanac”, the final song on the album. What starts off as a single guitar note repeated out of rhythm eventually grows into a very cinematic track. A synthesizer quickly arpeggiates a descending chord while the guitar plays some counter-melodic ideas. During the climax of the track, the instrumental ideas that have slowly developed continue their parts while incoherent vocals are chopped and processed in phase. Eventually, all the parts fade out to a lone, dreamy piano that plays one final chord, drawing everything to a close. As a whole, the track feels very conclusive and serves as a good ending track to the album. I feel that Repave was presented very well. The opening track fit well as an intro, and the final track served as a nice, conclusive end. The experimentation in production effects on this album really take Volcano Choir’s music in a different direction and achieves new and exciting textures that cannot be achieved by simply jamming in a garage.

Favorite Track: Almanac

Volcano Choir - Repave

One response to “Volcano Choir – Repave (2013)”

  1. I like it, very rich. The vocals (and only the vocals, and really only the first 1:30 of the vocals) on “Almanac” by Volcano Choir remind me of:

    Broken Hearted Savior by Big Head Todd and the Monsters


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