Justin Vernon founded Bon Iver when he was living in a secluded cabin in Wisconsin. Kind of like where I’m writing these blog posts…not. It was during Vernon’s stay in this cabin, accompanied with a nasty case of “mono” when the name “Bon Iver” which is French for “Enjoy the Winter” came to mind and many songs on the first album For Emma, Forever Ago were written. Known for their vocal harmonies and emotionally charged live performances, Bon Iver has emerged as one of the biggest names in new Folk. A variety of instruments are implemented in both albums- horns, violins, guitars, a vareity of percussion instruments and electronic effects.
For Emma, Forever Ago has some serious accolades- reaching #1 in the U.S. Top Heatseekers chart, placing 29th in Pitchfork’s top 200 albums of the 2000’s and 11th on Stereogum’s “Best Album of the 00’s” list. “Skinny Love,” one of the most popular singles from the album was listed in Australia Radio Station Triple J’s Hottest 100 of All Time Countdown. Numerous tracks from For Emma have been featured on Television shows- “Blinsided” and “Flume” were featured on CW’s One Tree Hill, “Creature Fear,” “Bloodbank” and “Skinny Love” have been featured on NBC’s Chuck as well as ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy . “Flume” and “Woods” have been used in the UK series Skins. “Flume” was covered by rock legend Peter Gabriel in his album Scratch my Back.
Bon Iver, the second album, continued to be Vernon’s vision supported by a variety of notable musicians including Michael Noyce (vocals), Sean Carey (vocals, drums, vibraphone), Matthew McCaughan (vocals, drums and production), C.J. Camerieri (brass, horns), Michael Lewis (saxophones), Colin Stetson (clarinet, flute, saxophones), Greg Leisz (steel pedal guitar), Rob Moose (strings) and Carmen Camerieri (Horns). The Album debuted at #1 on the Norwegian and Danish Albums Chart, #1 on US Billboard Alternative, Independent and Rock Albums charts, #2 on the overall US Billboard 200 and has been nominated for Best Alternative Music Album at the Grammys. “Towers,” “Holocene” and “Calgary” are 3 of the many singles featured on the album.
More info- boniver.org
Listen to: For Emma
Listen to: “Helocene, Calgary”