Arranger, producer, and multi-instrumentalist Rob Moose has been working closely with Justin Vernon‘s Bon Iver since 2010, and their collaboration continues today (June 9) on the former’s new single, “Marvel Room.” The track will appear on Moose’s upcoming solo EP, Inflorescence, due Aug. 11 from Sony Masterworks.
“It was a rare moment during the pandemic when I was able to do the vocals on this tune,” Vernon says of “Marvel Room.” “It was an old demo that I had lost track of. But Rob has access to pretty much everything I ever ‘try,’ and he found it and made this incredible arrangement. It brought new wind into the song and I was able to get excited and find the lyrics and melody.”
Moose adds that “Marvel Room” began life as an idea for Bon Iver’s 2019 album i,i, but was languishing on a hard drive until he re-encountered it “and was intrigued by its propulsive rhythms and baritone incantations. I set out to embody the original voicings on strings, and as part of my arrangement study, I recorded the whole song three different times in pursuit of the perfect feel. It traveled with me from Harlem to Brooklyn, where we moved before my son was born. I leaned in to uncode elusive phrases in his scratch vocal, and we passed the track back and forth a few times as the form and content emerged. He asked me for more subdivided rhythm in places, and I wondered if he might throw in a touch of sparkle toward the end. A year later, I got the courage to cut an extended intro I’d done, and suddenly the track was finished.”
In addition to co-founding classical ensemble yMusic, Moose has worked with everyone from Arcade Fire, Phoebe Bridgers and Alabama Shakes to Gwen Stefani, Sara Bareilles, and Paul Simon. Several of those artists also appear on Inflorescence, including Alabama Shakes’ Brittany Howard, Bridgers, and Bareilles.