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Nine years ago, Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon set the standard for what folk music should sound like with For Emma, Forever Ago. Friday, he will break it.

That’s when Bon Iver’s mysterious third album, 22, A Million drops via Jagjaguwar following five years of relative silence. As previews of tracks “22 (OVER S??N)” and “10 d E A T h b R E a s T ? ?” have already shown, fans looking for lead singer Vernon’s wind-like falsetto singing about ripe countrysides and winter’s intimacy will find themselves disappointed and confused.

Where Bon Iver’s past two records have evoked a man content in his Thoreau-like reclusiveness, 22, A Million seems like a portrait of a man after the isolation has driven him mad. Instead of familiar places or pet names, the tracklist features obscure symbols and numbers scattered alongside art that’s proved irresistible for Illuminati pop culture conspiracy theorists. Snippets of pitched dialogue punctuate the uneasy ambience the songs stir up with warped, lo-fi drums and stacks of heavily processed synths and saxophones. It sounds like Bon Iver fed through a wood chipper and sewn together on a back alley operating table.

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Bon Iver doesn't want to explain '22, A Million,' but he doesn't need to. It's beautiful.

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https://mic.com/articles/155335/bon-iver-doesn-t-want-to-explain-22-a-million-but-he-doesn-t-need-to-it-s-beautiful#.1u86e6D35

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