Bon Iver have shared live versions of ‘Beth/Rest’ and ‘Babys’, pulled from a fan-revered session they performed at London’s AIR Studios-owned Lyndhurst Hall.
The session in question took place in 2011, the same year they minted their semi-eponymous sophomore album ‘Bon Iver, Bon Iver’. It saw the band perform three songs from that record – ‘Beth/Rest’, ‘Hinnom, TX’ and ‘Wash.’ – as well as ‘Babys’ from their 2009 EP ‘Blood Bank’, and a cover of the Bonnie Raitt song ‘I Can’t Make You Love Me’.
Making the recording stand out is its stripped-back nature, as frontman Justin Vernon and drummer Sean Carey recorded the five-song set entirely analogue, with only vocals and piano.
As such, the tracks wield a much rawer and more reflective atmosphere; ‘Beth/Rest’ is the most heavily affected, with the version on ‘Bon Iver, Bon Iver’ driven by warbly, neon-tinted synths and vocal effects.
Have a listen to the AIR recordings of ‘Beth/Rest’ and ‘Babys’ below:
The full AIR Studios session was initially released in February 2012, however the forthcoming tenth-anniversary edition of ‘Bon Iver, Bon Iver’ – due out January 14 via Jagjaguwar – makes the individual tracks available to stream for the first time.
The reissue will also be pressed on CD and vinyl, sporting a blind embossed, white-on-white version of the original cover art (with a white record to match).
A personal essay written by Phoebe Bridgers will be included with all formats, the singer-songwriter opening up about how the record – which she described as “massive, sprawling [and] unbelievably complex” – impacted her life.
Bon Iver have performed one show thus far in 2021, headlining August’s Water Is Life festival in Minnesota to protest the Enbridge Line 3 pipeline. The band played an eight-track set heavy on cuts from their 2016 album ‘22, A Million’.