When Vernon and members of Collections of Colonies of Bees released their debut album, Unmap, back in 2009, there was no Volcano Choir. It was a record which came to birth in isolated collaboration. Feedback loops, eerie synths and haunting vocals would travel across Wisconsin to be slowly and experimentally pieced together, and then passed on to the next band member to add their piece to the puzzle.

After several years of this casual process of musical trading they started to realise, 'there's music here'. With that, Unmap was born. Progressive, free-flowing tracks and long instrumentals made for an intriguing album, which garnered considerable acclaim; and steered well clear of being labelled as For Emma Pt. 2. Following the record's release the band played a string of shows across Japan and the US which, according to Vernon, "Told us everything about what we could be as a band."

Fast-forward four years and much has changed. Following Grammy wins and collaboration with hip-hop royalty Vernon has hit almost unreachable heights of indie fame, yet for Volcano Choir's follow-up Repave he opted for the familiar. Following a long series of writing sessions with his band mates (this time face-to-face), spanning November 2010 to March 2013, they retreated to the isolation of the April Base studio in rural Wisconsin to record and finalise their sophomore record. With time on their side and only each other for company, his time they created an album as a 'band' in the truest form.

Pulsing organ resonates from Repave's opener, 'Tiderays', before being joined by the signature sound of Vernon's devastating falsetto over a bed of delicate guitar. Before its gentleness becomes too familiar the track builds with thumping drums and sharp electric guitar contrasts. It's a track which is far removed from Volcano Choir's debut output, and the folky-rawness of For Emma is missing, however, it's certainly a track which could have found its home anywhere on Bon Iver. On 'Acetate' they explore this arena further, this time un-earthing Vernon's vocal versatility with his less-used rich and deep vocal display.

The strongest portion of the record comes in the form of the three consecutive songs which follow - starting with off-kilter sound of 'Comrades'. Beautifully quirky keys and synths twist and emerge like the spring's first rays of sun creeping through to melt the snow and re-awaken life from its slumber. Lead single 'Byegone' comes next, and stand tall as the most anthemic track Vernon has put out across any of his myriad of guises. Its verse is built around an incredibly well constructed melody hook and simple, stunted guitar, before erupting into a rapturous chorus climaxing in technicolour percussion and brass - with Vernon crying out "Set sail." The final of the trio is a more subtle, but equally exceptional, piece of work. Stripped back musicianship and a refined vocal performance are paired with Vernon's usual combination of emotive, but abstract, lyrics on the acoustic masterpiece 'Alaskans'.

Despite Repave's initial strength, it falters to its finish with the disjointed 'Keel' and unusual album closer 'Almanac'. The latter is a mixed bag of a track, much like 'Beth/Rest' the finale on 2011's Bon Iver, it's a retro pop track, stylised to sound instantly dated, and sure to divide opinion.

When setting out on his second chapter with Volcano Choir, Vernon described the themes surrounding him: "the whole change that you go through, the changes that we all go through musically, personally or metaphorically, and sort of knowing that you have to change if you're having a tough time in your life. Repave is it." If you're looking for an album to soundtrack you through times of change and uncertainty, yes, Repave is it.