Monday, September 14, 2009

Bon Iver - For Emma, Forever Ago

Okay, so maybe I missed the boat on this one. Bon Iver has lit up the blogosphere before, but I just have to write about them, just so that you know. Better late than never.

Bon Iver is a group headed by Justin Vernon, who wrote the material for their first album, For Emma, Forever Ago in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, of all places, cloistered in a secluded cabin. That loneliness, that air of a distant nature's arena, is definitely conveyed in the album. Vernon has a very melancholy, unfiltered voice. The first time I heard him sing, the song "Skinny Love", was almost startling, not from strangeness, but from a kind of honest, regretful timbre to his singing. Stark is a word that fits. You've got guitar, and you've got voice, and not too much else. The reason it works is his unique approach to melodic shape, utilizing effortless cadence and syncopation. I don't say this about very many albums, and I mean it: For Emma, Forever Ago is downright pleasurable listening.

There's not much I can say here that hasn't already been said, by other, more noteworthy people. All I can add is that I hope you listen to this music. I think it's important that you do so.

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