Saturday, May 2, 2009

Bon Iver

Cam and Betsy sent me a CD called For Emma, Forever Ago by Bon Iver.

Rolling Stone says, "This album is a quiet marvel — just the sound of a sad guitar boy locking himself up in a cabin deep in the woods, singing, "Can't you find a clue/When your eyes are painted Sinatra blue?" Justin Vernon wrote the songs for his debut album during a three-month retreat in rural Wisconsin, recovering from what sounds like one mother grizzly of a broken romance. You can hear the isolation in the way he sings cracked ballads like "Flume," "Re: Stacks" and "The Wolves (Act I and II)" — he's been stuck on the "foreign roads" of heartbreak so long, he can't even remember how he got there.

The music evokes the acoustic side of Nick Cave or Neil Young, with his voice ranging from a creepy falsetto (sometimes double-tracked for hallucinatory effect) to a moan. Yet For Emma, Forever Ago never turns into a pity party, because Vernon has a light touch, with zero interest in narrative or confessional lyrics. He doesn't tell you anything about who Emma is or what exactly she did to him forever ago — but she must be proud she could put him through enough agony to inspire such great songs."

Well, here ya go: Emma happens to be Betsy's sister, (who was born on the very day Cam was) so this record has a cool connection for me - and of course the artist is from Wisconsin, so that makes it even more interesting...

And then when you listen to it, you'll realize that you've heard it before... on Grey's Anatomy, on Conan O'Brien, Letterman, or in a cool boutique, or somewhere! It's mellow, folk-influenced music with soft vocals and I recommend you get yourself a CD or download it asap!


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