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Bon Iver is raising money for COVID-19 relief with somber single, ‘PDLIF’

In a timely release, Bon Iver has released an emotionally stirring single in “PDLIF,” which is an acronym for “Please Don’t Live In Fear.” The band is releasing the song to raise funds for Direct Relief, a COVID-19 charity for those caught on the front lines of the virus pandemic. 100 percent of proceeds will go to the organization.

The track, which features vocals from Kacy Hill and percussion from Jim-E Stack, draws from several styles that frontman Justin Vernon has used over the years. They built the record around a sample of Alabaster dePlume’s 2012 single, “Visit Croatia,” a relaxed instrumental track that is characterized by a gripping tenor saxophone. Add in some vocoder vocals and lyrics centered on the song’s mantra “There will be a better day,” and what you’ve got is a stirring, serene Bon Iver instant-classic.

The track comes as a bit of a surprise. Given how the Wisconsin indie-folk band released their fourth studio album, i,i, just last August, along with a 10th-anniversary reissue of their Blood Bank EP last month, a new Bon Iver record is a treat in these tough times.