Bon Iver’s ‘Ate Up All Their Cake’ is an Anti-Capitalist Anthem

Yes, the revolution will be led by Bon Iver.

Bon Iver has never opted for subtlety: Justin Vernon’s amalgamation of indie/alt acoustics has consistently veered into the experimental, ever since For Emma, Forever Ago in 2007. Their work is a self-described “sentiment” more than a project, meant to be (or rather demanding) an emotive experience. 

The given moment is no exception: since the onset of the pandemic—and its reification of existing hegemonies—Bon Iver’s work has been steeped in the dissonance. ‘PDLIF’, the acronym for Please Don’t Live in Fear, was released in April (seemingly an alternate timeline), aiming to provide some sense of unity. It was incredibly apt, raising funds for Direct Relief, with more immediate material implications.

Their most recent release ‘AUATC’, or Ate Up All Their Cake, is all the more explicit. As the Antoinette-esque title suggests, it’s a critique of the cult of capitalism. The voices of Bruce Springsteen, Jenny Lewis, Jenn Wasner and Elsa Jensen accompany Vernor’s own, a bit of a subversion of existing collaborations. In a collective statement, they urged “We must continue the fight to topple capitalism as we know it, and recognize our collective participation in its dominant institutions.”

Certainly, the pandemic has illustrated the pitfalls of a system predicated on hyperproduction and consumption, forcing a collective reckoning. Artists, while often overlooked in terms of political ardor, have an important role in awareness and the dissemination of (more palatable) information. 

And they aren’t just issuing a performative declaration; it’s a more substantial commitment to addressing widespread injustice. 

To support, show up for the following organizations:

Minneapolis Sanctuary Movement
(contact legislators / leadership; donate)
Red Letter Grant
(participate; apply)

Equal Justice Initiative
(learn; vote)
(contact legislators; support favorite venue)

(join movement; participate in “Raise Your Voice for a #JustRecovery” campaign)

And, in the same zeitgeist, check out ‘AUATC’ below:

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