Lilian Min
July 20, 2015 2:12 pm

When we learned that Justin Vernon, who as Bon Iver was the mastermind behind your favorite deep feelings songs (and some of the most ridiculous harmonies in modern music), was “walking away” from Bon Iver back in 2012, our hearts broke. Luckily, Vernon came back with other projects like Volcano Choir and the Shouting Matches, but none of his other work quite hit heartstrings the way that Bon Iver did.

That all changed over the weekend, when Vernon brought the band together as a headliner at the inaugural Eaux Claires Music and Arts Festival. Bon Iver on stage was enough to make fans swoon, but during the encore to their set, Bon Iver dropped two new tunes.

Some background: Eaux Claires (French for “clear waters”), founded by Vernon and The National band member Aaron Dessner, took the music festival gambit and dropped it in the quiet of verdant summer Wisconsin. Named after Vernon’s hometown, which is nearby, this year’s fest featured an eclectic mix of artists: Along with the in-theme indie rock and folk acts like Bon Iver, The National, Sufjan Stevens, and Spoon, electronic acts like Boys Noize, Marijuana Deathsquad, and Sylvan Esso, as well as brass bands, gospel groups, and the Indigo Girls (!!!), whose album Swamp Ophelia is Vernon’s favorite. (He got them to play the whole thing at Eaux Claires, taking the musician fandom thing to an amazing high.)

The entire weekend, as seen on Instagram, looks to have been as musical, magical, and “oh wow nature”-filled as one might expect. How many festivals are right by a river, where you can take a midday dip while filling yours ears with gorgeous music?

A weekend in nature’s bower, amazing artists of all different genres — what could possibly make the weekend any better? Oh wait, there’s that whole Bon Iver thing.

There’s no word on whether or not Vernon plans on getting Bon Iver back together for real; in an interview with Grantland, the reclusive indie star said, “I definitely care about the Bon Iver thing a lot but it’s kind of my thing and there’s only so much time you can spend with yourself before you just become an asshole. So you gotta push it.” Hey, whatever lets him keep putting together new music, even intermittently.

Listen to both new tunes below. Given that Vernon has no official plans to get the group back together for a full album and/or tour, this might be as good as it’s gonna get . . . for a while, at least.

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(Image via.)

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