Phoebe Bridgers Pens Essay for Bon Iver’s Self-Titled 10th Anniversary Reissue

Bon Iver have reissued their 2011 sophomore album Bon Iver for its tenth anniversary, complete with a special essay written by Phoebe Bridgers. Stream the LP below on Apple Music and Spotify.

The new edition of the studio set features all 10 songs on the original tracklist along with live versions of “Hinnom, TX,” “Wash.,” “Beth/Rest,” and bonus tracks “I Can’t Make You Love Me” and “Babys” recorded at AIR Studios.

In her poetic introduction, Bridgers lays out her personal history as a fan of Bon Iver and their music, detailing her memories of the self-titled album in delicate second-person prose.

“The second Bon Iver record came out. It did not sound the way you expected,” she writes. “It was massive, sprawling, unbelievably complex — The Beach Boys on opiates. You starfished on your rocket sheets with your headphones turned all the way up… You read about the album’s lyrical themes, cities like Perth and Portland, and how the significance we put on place is really just about people and the passage of time. You could count the times you’d left California on your thumbs. It didn’t matter.”

Citing “Towers” as her “first favorite song,” the “Kyoto” singer then goes on to revisit the album a decade on. “When you are asked to write about Bon Iver, Bon Iver you haven’t listened to it all the way through since you were a teenager,” Bridgers admits.

“Records can take you to where you were — who you were-when you first listened to them; you’re scared to go back,” she continues. “But it is one of your favorite albums in the way you can only have favorite albums when you are a teenager; so, ten years after hearing these songs for the first time, two days after taking MDMA, going eighty on the highway next to someone you love who loves you back, you put it on.”

Bridgers concludes: “Three songs in, it is hard to focus on the road because you are crying. In the delicate balance of contentment and nostalgia and depleted serotonin, you remember all the reasons you love this album; the way it amplifies whatever feelings are already there. When you were seventeen, it was heartbreak, horniness, fear, an avalanche of yearning. But here, now — the landscape slipping past your windows, the lyrics folding into the music, you seeing yourself singing, and singing loud — you are happy, you are weeping, you are moving fast.”

Read Bridgers’ essay in full and stream Bon Iver (10th Anniversary Edition) below. Meanwhile, both Bon Iver and Bridgers are set to begin tours in the coming days. Justin Vernon and co. will kick things off March 30th in Mesa, Arizona while the Punisher singer will launch the latest iteration of her “Reunion Tour” April 13th in Phoenix. Get tickets to Bon Iver here and to Bridgers here.

Bon Iver, Bon Iver (10th Anniversary Edition) Artwork: