You’d be wise to check out the rustic indie-folk of Bon Iver now before it explodes. You see, after receiving praise from all over the music blogging world, and then wowing New York audiences during CMJ, his self-released debut For Emma, Forever Ago was picked up by Jagjaguwar and will see wide distribution on February 19th, 2008. This is music I’ve been hearing about for a few weeks now, but have only in the past few days really listened to attentively, and I’m glad I did. Bon Iver is one of those artists that is easily deserving of whatever internet hype he receives.
Bon Iver (pronounced: bohn eevair; French for "good winter" and spelled wrong on purpose) is the work of Justin Vernon, a native of Wisconsin who returned home to record in a cabin in the woods after his band, DeYarmond Edison, disbanded. The results are endlessly soulful and intimate folk and folk-rock. Vernon has a voice that is worlds beyond most of his contemporaries, both in range and nuance. He swings from a haunted falsetto to a strained roar throughout the songs, most closely recalling, as Pitchfork reported in their review (Recommended, 8.1), TV On The Radio’s Tunde Adebimpe.
From Jagjaguwar on the recording process: It wasn't planned. The goal was to hibernate. Vernon moved to a remote cabin in the woods of Northwestern Wisconsin at the onset of winter. He lived there alone for three months, filling his days with wood splitting and other chores around the land. This solitary time slowly began feeding a bold, uninhibited new musical focus. The days slowly evolved into nights filled with twelve-hour recording blocks, breaking only for trips on the tractor into the pines to saw and haul firewood, or for frozen sunrises high up a deer stand. All of his personal trouble, lack of perspective, heartache, longing, love, loss and guilt that had been stock piled over the course of the past six years, was suddenly purged into the form of song.
Stream the whole album at Virb