Bon Iver’s Obsession With the Letter ‘i’ Results In a Spotify ‘Viisualiizer’

Bon Iver’s latest album has an unexpected visual component.

Not every musician is a big fan of streaming, especially those who were around before it all happened.  But some artists are truly embracing the culture and all its possibilities. This includes the indie folk band Bon Iver, who have partnered with Spotify to develop an immersive online experience in conjunction with the release of their new album, which is called i,i.

The experience is called “Viisualiizer,” and you really need to see it to appreciate it.  While playing one of Bon Iver’s trending new songs in the background, it displays a collection of artwork created with the letter i. Users can interact with this artwork by move their finger (or mouse cursor) across the artwork.

Viisualiizer also displays information about the song playing, such as how many people are streaming it at any given time and which country currently has the most streams of the song. You can further view streaming data on a daily basis as well.

Judging by current statistics, the experiment is a huge success. As of this writing, the album had nearly 70 million total streams and close to 4 million hours of listening.

Justin Vernon, who is the singer-songwriter of Bon Iver, says that the entire concept represents a new way of thinking about music, where “sharing and building” is more important than ownership.

i,i was originally slated to be released at the end of the August, but the band released it nearly a month early. They will be promoting it during their North American tour, which began at the end of the August and will continue through the middle of October.  The band also released a mini-documentary on YouTube about the tour called “Bon Iver: Autumn.”

Bon Iver was formed in 2006 and released its first album a year later called For Emma, Forever Ago. Their 2012 album Bon Iver won Grammy Awards for Best Alternative Music Album and Best New Artist.

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