Bon Iver have released new single ‘AUATC’ (Ate Up All Their Cake), via independent record label JAGJAGUWAR.
The track was co-written by Justin Vernon and Phil Cook and features vocals by iconic artists Jenny Lewis and Bruce Springsteen.
The release is the second episode of ‘Bon Iver: Season 5’, a series of tracks which started with ‘PDLIF’ (Please Don’t Live In Fear) which was in support of health workers.
‘AUATC’ tackles similar themes such as anxiety and solitude, but also hope and the urgency to reach out for help, when in need: “Well you’re up all night and your neighbours don’t know (so shed a light on it)” prompt the lyrics.
The choir-style vocals throughout the song show that sense of unity and support between people that Bon Iver refer to, and is accompanied by delicate piano chords.
The track also refers to the people of power, who “Ate up all their cake/ And drank their own wine”.
That contrast is evident on the band’s video. On the one hand, it shows caricatures of greedy men consuming cake and wine like the lyrics suggest and on the other hand a dancer is dancing alone on an empty urban setting wearing a mask.
“There’s no master, and help will surely come around.”
We’re releasing a brand-new track called “AUATC” on digital services today via @jagjaguwar.
— Bon Iver (@boniver) August 5, 2020
It is not a coincidence that the announcement of the release is followed by a statement where the band is asking fans to “explore, take action and support” organisations such as 350.org, NIVA, Equal Justice Initiative, Red Letter Grant and Minneapolis Movement Sanctuary.
Bon Iver’s statement on Twitter is “calling attention to the fight against capitalism.” Being aware of their position within the system, the group declare they recognise that privilege and want to take advantage of their platform in order to “challenge capitalism everywhere.”
‘AUATC’ comes only a couple of weeks after Taylor Swift shared ‘exile’ her latest collaboration with Bon Iver which has entered into charts globally.