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Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon and Rapper Astronautalis Tease New Collaboration

Mark Metcalfe, Getty Images/Marcus Junius Laws

Believe it or not, those are photos of two different guys. The one on the left is singer-songwriter Justin Vernon — otherwise known as indie folk icon Bon Iver. The guy on the right is cerebral rapper Andy Bothwell — otherwise known as Astronautalis.

After about two years of talk, the Current reports the pair is finally working toward a release from Jason Feathers — their collaboration with Vernon’s occasional drummer S.Carey and Minneapolis-based producer Ryan Olson. According to a Minneapolis City Pages interview with Astronautilus, the crew recorded during one weekend in 2012 at Vernon’s April Base studio near Eau Claire, Wis.

Bothwell said the goal of the collaboration was to let go of studio conventions that went into Bon Iver’s self-titled album and Astronautalis’ ‘This Is Our Science,’ which were released a few months apart in 2011. “What sparked this was that he and I are obsessive and lose our minds working on albums,” said Bothwell. “Stressing out over lyric choices, and getting one word right and worrying about it for weeks on end. Whereas, [Olson] is this amazing personality who motivates people to enjoy the process of making music. You just do it, and if it doesn’t work, it’ll get cut out.”

Bothwell said the end result will only sound like hip-hop or traditional indie rock to a certain extent. “A lot of my fans are like, ‘Oh, this is going to be amazing: Astronautalis rapping and Justin singing choruses.’ It’s not going to be that,” Bothwell said. “I’m sure that all of Justin’s fans are going to be like ‘Oh, it’s a new Bon Iver record and there’s these other guys.’ Everyone’s fans respectively are going to expect certain things.”

While further details are sparse, Jason Feathers did release a teaser video that hints toward a possible sound. Check it out and let us know what you think:

Next: Bon Iver - Stage Name Origins

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