New "supergroup" featuring Justin Vernon, P.O.S., members of Megafaun and The Rosebuds, et al., looks awesome, awful, awesome again
Bon Iver detractors usually accuse Justin Vernon of making sleepy, whitebread indie-folk, but even haters have to concede that the man has shown a truly adventurous spirit via his side projects. Last year he teamed up with Milwaukee’s Collections Of Colonies Of Bees for Volcano Choir’s dreamily atmospheric and clearly not-for-everybody Unmap, but that pales in comparison in the abrupt left-turn department to GAYNGS, which started out as an offshoot of Twin Cities synth-pop band Solid Gold and ballooned to an epic collaboration of more than 25 musicians, including Vernon, Doomtree rappers P.O.S. and Dessa, and members of Megafaun, The Rosebuds, Lookbook, and seemingly every other indie-rock band in the vicinity of the Eau Claire recording studio where GAYNGS’ forthcoming album, Relayted, was made.
So, what in the hell does this intriguing mess sound like? No songs have been released yet—the album drops May 11—but the press release from Vernon’s label Jagjaguwar includes mind-blowing descriptions like this: “Fans of Bon Iver will recognize Vernon's familiar falsetto, but will flip when they hear his Bone Thug's-style R&B.” Hmm, could this be the first album ever to simultaneously top best and worst albums of the year lists?