Music

The Best Singles of 2009: Volcano Choir - "Island, IS"

Louis Battaglia

We've unveiled our 50 best singles of the year, but that's not really a lot of songs. So, here are others bubbling just under that 50 mark.

Bringing together the soulful folk of Justin Vernon's Bon Iver project and the systematic, Steve Reich-like patters of fellow Wisconsin natives Colonies Collection of Bees, Volcano Choir's "Island, IS" represents an inevitable (but perfect) distillation of electro-folk. Vernon's layered vocals float atop dense, alternating melodic lines that are warped by samplers. Driven by tapping, but tense percussion, the song's structure propels Vernon's wail to a crescendo unlike what we've heard from Bon Iver. The song's finale is perhaps one of the finest minute-and-a-halves of music to be heard this year.

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