Justin Vernon seems to be the busiest man in music lately. But when he isn’t doing collaborations with Kanye West, Gayngs, Volcano Choir or any of the other recent projects, he is the lead part of Bon Iver. A few years back Bon Iver released what is proving to be one of the best albums of the last several years and likely one of the best breakup albums ever. For Emma Forever Ago is an album that I will revisit often. It’s a versatile album that is complex and simple at the same time rewarding multiple listens. The reason Justin Vernon is such a highly sought after vocalist is because of his unique and emotive voice. Whether he is whispering, crooning in his haunting falsetto, or rocking the soulful autotune, he nails it every time.
Next week Bon Iver’s follow up LP is due for release. It has been available for streaming and other methods of consumption, and I have been basking in it’s beauty for awhile now. Bon Iver, Bon Iver is likely the best album of the year so far. To say it is gorgeous is to ignore it’s complexity. This is an album that appeals on several levels and like it’s predecessor it rewards multiple listens. In fact, it’s short running time (seems to be a recent trend) almost dictates you listen to it 4 or 5 times in a row. Well, at least that is my excuse for listening to it over 30 times in a week.
The video for the lead “single” Calgary was released today, and it is bewilderingly great. I wish I understood what was going on, but maybe that is the point. Check it out Below.
As for the rest of the album, Buy it when you can, on whatever format you like to consume your music. I know this is going to be a vinyl release for me. The cover is fantastic in every way.
And be sure to dedicate some time to grasping this album as I see it being at the top of a lot of year end lists this year. It is different than Emma. It is almost a culmination of everything he has been a part of lately. And the album closer is essentially a Gayngs style Bon Iver track. Love it.
This is an album’s album in that it is best consumed whole, but if I had to pick favs, so far Perth and Holocene. This is an album that lyrically is as confusing as the video for Calgary, but sonically is one that wraps around you and pulls you in. Almost like a sigur ros album where it doesn’t really need to be understood what the words mean, but just felt.