The early-bird ticket holders for the Eaux Claires Music & Arts Festival – organized by Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon and the National’s Aaron Dessner – were fortunate enough to receive a cassette (now available to stream in full) containing previously unheard music from various artists. On that cassette was an old track from Vernon himself, dating back to anytime in 2009 or 2010. “Haven, Mass” was a track that didn’t make it onto sophomore album Bon Iver, Bon Iver, which is funny, considering it would have sounded right at home within it’s confines. Vernon’s signature vocals are ensconced by saccharine sweet instrumentals, and almost feels heavy, as if weighed down by something inscrutable. At this point, it’s almost impossible to receive anything from Vernon that isn’t perfection, and while this track isn’t necessarily new, it’s something to hold on to until the next work of beauty from Bon Iver comes along.
photo by D. L. Anderson