It’s difficult for me not to rave about Bon Iver and sound like a giddy little school girl, because in all honesty that’s exactly how Justin Vernon makes me feel. I’m constantly blown away by their music and how perfect their arrangements are. Bon Iver is without a doubt the band I’m most looking forward to seeing this weekend.
The music of Bon Iver (say it with me, “bahwn EE-vare”) came to Vernon as he was secluded in a cabin in a forest of northern Wisconsin. In his heartbreak, he devoted nearly 12 hours a day to writing and recording music and by the end of his three months spent there, For Emma, Forever Ago was born. Friends and fellow musicians joined Vernon for his live performances and his solo project grew to a continuously morphing group, primarily profiling the talents of Sean Carey (S. Carey), Michael Noyce, and Matthew McCaughan. Bon Iver’s sound revolves around Vernon’s light and jazzy falsetto that sing of lost love and the excitement of discovering it again. With poetic lyrics that cut straight through your gut, this band makes you feel everything their music sings of. Their recent self-titled album, released three years after their premiere, turns on For Emma‘s acoustic and raw feel and emphasizes the talent that Vernon has since developed and discovered. The album ranges from highly tuned guitar riffs to isolated piano chords and everything else in-between. The tracks are named after places that don’t exist and the themes tend to float around the act of being drunk or high; the constant struggle to get outside of yourself, either for an escape or to gain a stronger perspective of what you are. Even without translating the generally ambiguous lyrics, the message is clearly displayed in the tone of the music. Bon Iver takes specific emotions and manages to translate them into audible form. They are a band that bewitches your mind, body, and soul and shows you the path to that exact escape that is discussed on the album. Cheers to you, Bon Iver.
Bon Iver plays on the Sasquatch stage at 10 pm on Sunday, May 27th.