Volcano Choir - Repave
Critic Score
Based on 22 reviews
2013 Ratings: #187 / 1023
User Score
Based on 184 ratings
2013 Ratings: #107
Liked by 1 person
September 3, 2013 / Release Date
LP / Format
Jagjaguwar / Label
Indie Folk / Genres
Suggest a Genre
Abuse of this feature may prevent future contributions from your account.
volcanochoir.com / Website
Sign In to rate and review


Pretty Much Amazing

Where Unmap is concerned with abstract possibilities, Repave demonstrates Volcano Choir as a fully formed band driven by thrilling experimental vigor but with tighter, more traditionally structured songs.

A.V. Club

In the past, Volcano Choir may have been an expectations-minimizing, second-stage Justin Vernon act; with Repave, it comes tantalizingly close to becoming the main event.

The 405

If you're looking for an album to soundtrack you through times of change and uncertainty, yes, Repave is it.

The Line of Best Fit

A daring, self-assured statement by a band who have finally figured out just what a special thing they have created with Volcano Choir, but still aren’t aware of where it’s going to take them next.


While it deviates rather sharply from Unmap, there are occasional moments that recall the band in its infancy but it is clear that the four years since the debut arrived have resulted in the band’s evolution – and they are all the better for it.

Consequence of Sound

By melding the invaluable element that is Justin Vernon with a microphone to a chunk of surprisingly boisterous song ideas  (twice as focused as those from their 2009 debut Unmap and a step more sonically advanced) Volcano Choir, too, find their voice on Repave.

Under The Radar

With Unmap, Volcano Choir clearly had the raw materials it needed to create something stunning—but those materials were left unarranged, scattered, and disparate. Repave is built from the same basic building blocks, but they've been die-cast into a definite mold—and the results are remarkable. 

Beats Per Minute

Taken as a start-to-finish listening experience, there’s a sort of all-purpose affability to Repave that makes even the more unintelligible moments sound like high-concept pop music.


The sextet have created a grandiose record with arena-rock ambitions and ostentatious beauty that is mostly inscrutable on a lyrical level. 


Repave is anything but showy. It's a pretty type of album that washes over you, made up of slow burners that melt like hot wax.


Apart from the weirdly out-of-place vocoder moment on ‘Comrade’, it’s a layered, lush and lovely eight-track affair. 


There’s a slippery nature to these ghostly tracks of sadness and loss and that makes them feel hard to get into the middle of, they never envelop, rather flicker at the sides. 

Tiny Mix Tapes

While this certainly isn’t the second album that I expected Volcano Choir to create, it’s a strong showing from a group of talented musicians, and for the moment, I’m more than satisfied with enjoying it on those simple terms alone.

Drowned in Sound

Despite intriguing intricacies, it's ultimately impossible to see Repave as anything other than a missed opportunity. It feels too safe, too concerned with sounding like a 'proper' band to really fulfil the promise of its members’ day jobs.

At first it comes off as really stiff and rigid. However, after some time you get it. Really unique. One of my most listened to albums during the autumn and winter seasons. Also worth noting one of my favorite album covers ever.

Favorite Tracks: Byegone, Alaskans, Acetate, Comrade, Almanac, Keel
I love to sing along to this one.
Lyrically, it is ridiculous; sonically, it is absolutely stunning. The album art reflects the sensory experience of the album for me. You feel completely overwhelmed, a massive emotional wave crashing into your ears over and over again. At times, the feeling can feel undirected or exacerbated to an extreme, but there are so many sublime moments on this album that it is hard not to praise it. This is an album for the Bon Bon fans who need more reason to love Justin Vernon and his moody music.
The Volcano Choir project sees Justin Vernon indulging his more experimental tendencies while grounded in a wonderfully-produced, expansive soundscape splitting the difference between indie folk and post-rock. Despite sounding amazing and packing some soaring choruses, “Repave” is initially rather inaccessible when compared to either Bon Iver album that preceded it; it’s a highly confusing lyrical experience. But “Repave” is a massive grower, the rare record that ... read more
Beautiful opening half of album , slightly let down towards the end, another great album from Vernon.
Purchasing Repave from Amazon helps support Album of the Year. Or consider a donation?
Become a Donor
Donor badge, no ads + more benefits.

Track List

  1. Tiderays
  2. Acetate
  3. Comrade
  4. Byegone
  5. Alaskans
  6. Dancepack
  7. Keel
  8. Almanac
Sign in to comment
No one has said anything yet.

Added on: May 28, 2013