Dec 27 2007
Bon Iver is amazing. I have been meaning to write this post for several months, and am excited that it’s finally getting posted–this talented musician deserves the acclaim of everyone. There is no doubt in my mind that he is going to start growing quickly in the music scene. If you are a fan of M. Ward, Iron & wine, or Ray LaMontagne, make sure to take a listen his music. Bon Iver’s acoustic strumming and unique and soulful vocals make listening to him therapeutic and pleasurable. His beautiful voice is an instrument in its own right. His thoughtful and poetic lyrics add so much more. I have no reservations saying that, in my opinion, this is the best album of 2007. I am willing to stand behind that. Listen to For Emma, Forever ago. Embrace it. You owe it not only to the music, but more importantly, yourself.
Justin Vernon is of Eau Claire, Wisconsin and is Bon Iver (French for good winter). Vernon moved to a remote cabin in the woods of Northwestern Wisconsin at the onset of winter. Tailing from the swirling breakup of his long time band (DeYarmond Edison), he escaped to the property and surrounded himself with simple work, quiet, and space. He lived there alone for three months, filling his days with wood splitting and other chores around the land. This special time slowly began feeding a bold, uninhibited new musical focus.” Reveille Magazine interviewed Vernon, and asked him about the environment he made the album in.
I don’t think there’s any way I could have done it elsewhere. It’s been painted in the reviews of the record as this magical four months of hunkering down and writing a record. In reality I headed out to the cabin because I just didn’t know what to do next in my life. Once I got there though it just felt like all the blocks that I had put in my brain and heart in terms of musical expression started to loosen. They had been there for so long and the only thing that was able to loosen them up, and loosen me up, was having that much space. Not just the physical space, but also the emotional space, just being away from bandmates and old friends who know you so well. It was the first time I could really hear myself. I had my finger on the pulse of what was happening as it happened. Having the time and space allowed me to listen to my inner voice. When you’re in a city and constantly playing shows and are worried about how your band’s doing it’s too easy to get distracted.
Cabin where Vernon recorded For Emma, Forever Ago.
Vernon comes off as an extremely modest guy, and is taking the recognition he is starting to receive in stride. He released For Emma, Forever Ago independently, but is now signed to Jagjaguwar and the album will be re-released on Feb 19, 2008. I still consider it to be the best album of 2007, though. I posted an Amazon pre-order link below. If you like this music support Vernon. I already pre-ordered my copy. When I listen to this album, I visualize Vernon at his father’s cabin that winter. His music radiates warmness.
For Emma, Forever Ago (2007):