In a recent sitdown with Grantland, Justin Vernon revealed that Bon Iver, for now, is no more. The man whom Kanye West recently called “one of the baddest white boys on the planet” is putting down the acoustic guitar for now in favor of more ambitious projects. Essentially, Bon Iver got too famous too fast, and Vernon, understandably, wants to scale back to his roots, writing music for himself and not an audience.
Since Bon Iver’s last record, 2011’s Bon Iver, Vernon has worked on side projects like Volcano Choir, the Shouting Matches, and weirdo rap group Jason Feathers. He also features prominently on West’s 2013 album, Yeezus.
His current pet project is Eaux Claires, a music festival in his hometown with Aaron Dessner of the National. Volcano Choir received a fair deal of critical acclaim with 2013’s Repave, but Vernon has yet to come close to the heights of his SNL-parody-worthy days of Bon Iver.
Ending Bon Iver may actually be the best possible career move for Vernon. Bon Iver had become the poster child for white dude indie rock. Too many copycats emerged, and the band became more cliche than classic. Thus far, anything else Vernon’s done doesn’t truly feel like his own. Without Bon Iver, he can really put his mark on a new project without the extraordinarily high expectations he set up for himself with For Emma, Forever Ago and Bon Iver.