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Boomkat Product Review:
A collaboration between long-term associates Justin Vernon (aka Bon Iver) and his fellow Wisconsinites, Collections Of Colonies Of Bees, Volcano Choir is a relatively experimental project, which although still centrally preoccupied with trad songwriting is unafraid of dabblings with drone ('Dote'), Reich-ian minimalism ('And Gather') and cinematic post-rock. 'Still' checks the latter box with great verve, incorporating Bon Iver's Autotune opus 'Woods' (the closing cut from this year's Blood Bank EP) into an epic stretch of grand chord changes and tonal swells. The very natural production sound prevents the record from completely devouring Vernon's rootsy, cabin-dwelling persona, but there's an almost folktronic feel to opener 'Husks And Shells' and the closest thing here to a single - 'Island, Is' - retains a certain awkwardness thanks to rapid, looping guitar figures. Transcending any of the album's angular edges is Vernon's central performance, demonstrating a maturing writing talent as well as a spine-tingling vocal presence - something really underlined by album closer 'Youlogy' in which his all-but unaccompanied delivery expands into a lupine one-man choir by the end. Excellent.