About a year ago, I decided that I was completely and utterly bored of all the music on my iPod. Whenever this happens to me, I spend hours on YouTube clicking on the random “recommended for you” videos that pop up on the side, and one day I happened across an indie folk band called Bon Iver (which translates to “good winter” in French.) The song was called “Holocene,” and it was unlike anything I’ve ever heard before. As Michael Perry put it on the Bon Iver website: ““Holocene” opens with simple finger-picking. The vocal is regret spun hollow and strung on a wire. Then the snare-beat breaks and drives us forward and up and up until we fly silent through the black-star night, our wreckage in view whole atmospheres below.” After hearing this song, I knew I had to hear more; I can now confidently say I have just about every song they’ve ever done on my iPod and I love all of them.
I’m not trying to sound sappy by saying that Bon Iver changed the way I listen to music, but in all honesty, this band did just that. After I fell in love with their music, I became curious about the background of the band, so I did some digging and learned a lot about their lead singer, Justin Vernon. Their first album, For Emma, Forever Ago, was written by Vernon in a log cabin in the woods in Northwestern Wisconsin during the winter. He had just gone through a breakup with his girlfriend, as well as a breakup with his previous band of ten years, DeYarmond Edison. “It wasn’t this magical time, making a record in a winter wonderland,” Vernon said. “I went there because I felt like I had nowhere else to go, and because I needed to try and make sense of my life.” As rough as he must have felt, I believe that writing this album found him some solace, as I’m sure it’s helped many of his listeners find as well. Bon Iver recently just won two Grammy’s in the 2012 Grammy Awards: Best New Artist and Best Alternative Music Album. So if you ever feel like you want to try listening to something different and beautiful, you should definitely give Bon Iver a try, as well as DeYarmond Edison and anything else by Justin Vernon.
Bon Iver songs:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TWcyIpul8OE – Holocene
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LuQrLsTUcN0 – Flume
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dz5s5C6sAt0 – Skinny Love
DeYarmond Edison songs:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gL35IN6-ULw – Heart for Hire
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zdRdlUf1u5c – First Impression