If you weren’t able to see Bon Iver on his 5 night run in NYC, and didn’t catch the Radio City Music Hall performance online or maybe just weren’t up to spending an hour and a half in front of your computer screen, than we have just the thing for you… seven minutes of Bon Iver and his extensive band rocking out “The Wolves (Act I and II).” The boys finished up their NYC run at a gothic synagogue on the Lower East Side where the encore featured a rather epic version of “The Wolves” that was equal parts quiet subtly and rock out sing-a-long. With all the rumors swirling around about the future of Bon Iver after their current tour I suppose we should enjoy as much Justin Vernon as we can, while we can. Check out the video below for another solid performance from a band that has been receiving nothing but rave reviews for their live show.
Before Justin Vernon took Bon Iver into the next stratosphere, he was in a North Carolina by way of Wisconsin band called DeYarmond Edison. After putting out two full lengths and an EP, DeYarmond Edison split with Vernon forming Bon Iver, and three of the other members forming the “freak folk” band Megafaun.
Now, a third faction from DeYarmond Edison has formed, with former member Chris Porterfield forming the new outfit Field Report. While Megafaun seems to have very little in common with Bon Iver save for the aforementioned affiliation – Field Report seems to fit right in with the sound many of us have come to know and love.
Field Report’s as of yet untitled debut isn’t due til July, but we have 2 really good previews streaming below to help us get excited about the new album. Check out “Fergus Falls” and “I am Not Waiting Anymore” below.
Kathleen Edwards is no stranger to the music scene. After releasing her first album in 1999 she has been a favorite for critics and fellow musicians alike. Although she has never really been able to “break through” to pop stardom she continues to churn out great folk/country/rock music and her newest album Voyageur is no different. After pairing up with the man of the hour, Justin Vernon, on tour and on her new album she seems to be getting some well deserved attention. Voyageur is a heartfelt and highly likable album which chronicles a love affair from beginning to end. Best part is you can give the album a free spin on her website here and decide for yourself. Happy Monday!
I have always viewed Bon Iver’s music as etherial and airy – almost tailor made for a soundtrack or backdrop to something beautiful. Today, Justin Vernon released a music video that fits that bill quite perfectly. Shot on location in Iceland, the scenery is out of control gorgeous – fitting this wonderful song to a T. Check out the Nabil Elderkin direct video for “Holocene” below, and check out Bon Iver’s wonderful new album if you haven’t already.
How exactly would you classify Bon Iver – indie, instrumental, orchestral, experimental, folk, all five? Although indescribable and probably no fun at parties there is something about Justin Vernon’s voice and the arrangement of music that draws you in and completely transports you. With his first full length album For Emma, Forever Ago Bon Iver took people’s breath away and his newest self titled effort is guaranteed to satisfy fans by expanding on his original sound yet still managing to provide an album in line with what everyone loved so much the first time around.
Bon Iver glides along effortlessly, which is surprising considering the complexity of the music, but they make it all seem so easy. Vernon’s voice is simply flawless and every instrument is perfectly placed to it’s greatest effect. The album opens up with “Perth” that couldn’t build any better, it’s as though the band is opening the door to the album and welcoming you in. The guitar melody, distant sound of a choir and marching drum beat draw you in and provide a perfect appetizer. “Minnesota, WI” is next and although if you told me you were going to build a song with a plucking fiddle, synthesizers, a falsetto mixed with a low growl and jarring breakdowns I would think you were crazy, but they pull it off with flying colors. “Holocene” is a melodic tune that stays pretty steady throughout and leaves you singing “and I can see for miles, miles, miles” long after listening. “Towers” is a fun upbeat twist, “Michicant” chugs along like a waltz and of course “Calgary” is an absolute stand out that practically defines the album. The real confusion comes with “Lisbon, OH” that is just a minute and a half of strange chords that reminds me of the hearing test they gave you in grammar school. This leads into the album’s closer “Beth/Rest” that sounds like the credit music for an 80′s romantic comedy. Seriously, hearing this song made me so nostalgic I popped The Secret of My Success in my VCR and turned Restless Heart’s “Don’t Ask the Reasons Why” up to full blast (youtube it, the similarity is uncanny). Luckily the last two songs don’t spoil anything but I certainly wish such an impressive album had ended stronger.
There aren’t many albums that can completely transport you and make you feel something that wasn’t there before, but Bon Iver can. This kind of experimental melodic orchestral music might not be for everyone, but if you truly drive into this music you will not be disappointed. The songs on this album weren’t meant for parties, playlists or casual listening they were meant to be heard in the context of their album and in that context they are truly beautiful.