July 15, 2018 / 7:05 PM

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Bon Iver Is Writing New Music and Ready to Take on the World Again



Justin Vernon, better known as Bon Iver, seems to have recaptured his creative spark and is ending his long sabbatical.

"I'm no longer winding down," he tells Billboard in an interview in which he discusses the lineup for his and Aaron Dessner's (of The National) Eaux Claires Arts & Music Festival.

The two-day Wisconsin festival is in its second year and kicks off Aug. 12. The stellar and diverse lineup includes James Blake, Jenny Lewis, Vince Staples, Erykah Badu and Deafheaven.

Last year, Bon Iver debuted two new beautiful songs at the festival with The Staves and yMusic but fans haven't heard about any new music until now.

Bon Iver recently has been ramping up activity; he announced a seven-show tour across Asia and released an old tune, "Heaven, Mass," from 2009 or 2010.  

"I'm not exactly sure where I am with it. I've been winding down for a number of years for numerous reasons. For exhaustion, exposure. It's never died or anything to me. It's one of those things that needs to be protected in my own spirit," Vernon told Billboard. "I've been working on music, you know, man. It takes a long time, and I'm not sure exactly what it is or what it means to me, and until that happens I won't really know exactly what sharing it will look like or feel like or when.

"There's sort of this internal pressure, not from anybody but myself, to come out with new music for the festival," he said. "But I'm not gonna make myself do anything. I really have to take it step by step and have patience and know that the music."

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