Volcano Choir: Repave
Just gonna try to work out what I like most about Volcano Choir’s latest album without treading through the band’s debut nor all of that fantastic Bon Iver stuff that VC singer Justin Vernon has been known to drop into the musical ether nor Collections of Colonies of Bees’ material. Listen: Repave is a great album.
The cover kinda illustrates the tidal shifts in mood that the listener will come to find (also evidenced within the album opener’s title). There’s sun; there are clouds. There are a lot of waves rollicking the melodies back and forth. And from the vantage point of the first note, it’s impossible to see across the ocean at what lay on the other side. “Vast” is a word that springs to mind.
Earlier this year, the band released a sorta trailer for the album. “Byegone” filled out the backdrop, while clips of glacial movements and the band members’ in-studio meanderings flashed across the screen (or something like that). It’s a terrific tune and certainly stands as the centerpiece of the first half. That triumphant melody that leads into the chorus is an inspiring little thing.
And against the monumental music, there’s a noted irreverence throughout the album (re: lyrics). Just absolutely silly stuff most of the time. Less visible is the pacing of the album. With that very “monumental” concept in place, it’s remarkable how easily the songs flow from one to the next. That’s probably what seems most joyous about the album: It’s accessible in ways that similar works may not have been (aaand there’s that tread across the whole Bon Iver thing). Repave is stuff you can walk to, sleep to, write to.