Hey, Ma – Bon Iver | “Hey Ma” is part of Bon Iver’s 2019 project entitled iCOMMAi, which fandom are considering to be the name of their album.

“Hey, Ma” is gorgeous, cold, and emotional. Vernon manages to incorporate both organic and electronic elements in one of his most fully-realized songs since 2011’s self-titled album.

0
172
views
The song opens with a guitar arpeggio before succumbing to more generalized synthesized textures, beeps, and drum machines.  It’s almost a nod to the fact that this song sounds like it should’ve bridged the gap between the self-titled album and 22, A Million.  With few exceptions, the best Bon Iver songs wrap around you like an Eau Claire winter.  You can’t fall asleep in a warm bed without the cold to wrap around you.  “Hey, Ma” is no exception.  Vernon is incredibly sweet and personable in his vocal delivery, but the instrumental makes you feel lonely in a gorgeous way, like standing in a field as the snow comes down.

 

 

 

This song is based on the childhood recollections of Justin Vernon, specifically in relation to his mother.  The lyrics are somewhat cryptic, as in the particular tales he is trying to relay at certain points of the song are likely based on memories only he and a few others share. 

 

 

 

As strange as the experimental parts and effects on i,i might seem, they never feel out of place, finding their space between soft guitar strumming and Justin Vernon’s magnificent voice. Often times, the songs leave the safe ground of traditional songwriting and disappear into an atmospheric bliss with no real structure, best exemplified on the track ‘Sh’Diah’. The previously released singles ‘Hey, Ma’ and ‘U (Man Like)’ are probably the most conventional songs on i,i.
Hotpress| Selina Juengling | Aug 8, 2019
 
 
22 A Million producer BJ Burton returns to color the track with flittering alien textures, and Vernon sings in his earnest, untreated voice about childhood memories, bathtime (maybe?), calling your mom, and closes the chorus with a typically impressionistic line: “You’re back and forth with light.”

 

Pitchfork| Jeremy D. Larson | Jun 3, 2019
 
 
As always, Bon Iver remain somewhat inscrutable on “Hey, Ma”, with nostalgic references to family and childhood. The most clearly traceable lyrical through line sums to a reflection on the way fame has impacted Vernon’s interpersonal relationships.

 

 

 

Hey, Ma – Bon Iver

[Verse 1]
I waited outside
I took it remote
I wanted a bath
“Tell the story or he goes”
“Tell the story or he goes”

[Chorus]
Full time, you talk your money up
While it’s living in a coal mine
Tall time to call your Ma
Hey Ma, hey Ma
Tall vote, you know you mope it up
Well, you wanted it your whole life
You’re back and forth with light

[Verse 2]
I waited outside
I was tokin’ on dope
I hoped it all wunt go in a minute
With the past that you know
I wanted all that mind sugar
I want it all mine
I had a heavy mind, sugar
I took it, it was right

[Chorus]
Full time, you talk your money up
While it’s living in a coal mine
Tall time to call your Ma
Hey Ma, hey Ma
Tall vote, you know you mope it up
Well, you wanted it your whole life
You’re back and forth with light

[Interlude]
You’re back and forth
You’re back and forth
You go back and forth
And then you’re back and forth
And back and forth

[Verse 3]
I waited outside
Then you took me in the room
And you offered up the truth
My eyes crawling up the window to the wall
From dusk ’til dawn
Let me talk to ’em
Let me talk to ’em all

[Chorus]
Full time, you talk your money up
While it’s living in a coal mine
Tall time to call your Ma
Hey Ma, hey Ma
Tall vote, you know you mope it up
Well, you wanted it your whole life
You’re back and forth with light

 

On Monday (June 3), Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon returned with “Hey, Ma” and “U (Man Like).”
Billboard | Hilary Hughes | Jun 3, 2019

 

Justin Vernon has issued 12 of his new album’s 13 tracks on Spotify and YouTube, but physical copies are still set to arrive August 30.
Vanyaland | Michael Marotta | Aug 10, 2019

 

In times when sincerity is not only scary, but scarce, Justin Vernon remains throughly committed to the idea.
Spin | Jun 3, 2019

 

Re-release will boast new live versions of all four songs from 2009 project