Justin Vernon Shares ‘Hazelton’ Original Recording That Turned Into Bon Iver’s ‘Holocene’

What Could’ve Been

The song was originally recorded for Vernon’s third studio album in the mid-2000s before his band DeYarmond Edison called it quits

The musical seed Justin Vernon planted that eventually sprouted into Bon Iver is now available on streaming. The record, an original song titled “Hazelton” and recorded in the mid-2000s for the musician’s third solo album, functioned as the starting point for “Holocene,” the pivotal single from Bon Iver’s second studio album Bon Iver, Bon Iver.

“Hazelton” resurfaced as one of 83 newly-released recordings on Epoch, the definitive box set documenting Vernon’s old band DeYarmond Edison. In many ways, it marked the official beginning of the end by signifying a departure from Vernon’s full commitment to the band he performed in alongside childhood friends Joe Cook, Phil Cook, and Joe Westerlund.

It was only released on 100 handmade CD-Rs as part of a project titled Hazeltons, but less than two months after Vernon shared it, DeYarmond Edison performed together for the last time. Within a year, he would be on his path with Bon Iver and the Cook brothers and Westerlund would continue on as Megafaun.


“This is the sound of sorting through an overabundance of new info, mostly for yourself. And, even in the rather fraught process, finding out just where it is you’ve been headed your whole life,” Grayson Haver Currin, the box set’s executive producer and biographer, shared in a statement about the project.

“Hazelton” will appear on the Hazeltons album, one of five in the box set, alongside the newly released “Liners.” It was also include Vernon’s “Frail Sail,” “Game Night,” “Easy,” “Song for a Lover (Of Long Ago),” and “Hannah, My Ophelia.”