Music Video: Island, IS by Volcano Choir


Justin Vernon is best-known to almost all alternative music fans as Bon Iver, the gifted singer with the haunting falsetto whose début album For Emma, Forever Ago was one of the most memorable records since the turn of the millennium. Vernon, however, is more than just his popular pseudonym; he’s released material under his real name as well as with Volcano Choir, whose first album Unmap was released in 2009.

Vernon is joined by post-rock band Collections of Colonies of Bees – and yes that is their real name – to form Volcano Choir, and the group’s epic soundscapes combine wonderfully with Vernon’s intimate vocals to make a soothing whole. Unmap does not carry the same instant impact as Vernon’s work as Bon Iver, but makes for expansive, contemplative listening, and draws favourable comparisons with Icelandic post-rock titans Sigur Rós.

Nowhere is this more apparent than on Island, IS, a slow-burning track which builds into a frantic finale, and the group’s video for the song, composed of coloured squares of light being projected onto a bridge’s underside, is a fitting visual acompaniment: it, like the band, is understated, inventive and bordering on hypnotic.

Luke Grundy is a fervent assimilator of media living amid the bright lights of London, England. If he’s not watching films or listening to music, he’s probably asleep, eating or dead. An aspiring writer, journalist and musician, he is the creator of movie/music blog Odessa & Tucson and lives for epistemology.