Comet


Bon Iver

Posted by: Ryan 10 months, 1 week ago
Categories: Music

Spotify doesn’t do a great job with new music discovery.  Their personalized “Discover Weekly” playlists were once groundbreaking - and while they’re still good, it seems like the technology hasn’t evolved in a long time. I’m ready for the next big thing in music discovery - and while I wait, I’ll be listening to a lot of Bon Iver.

Bon Iver (which is principally just a stage name for the front man, Justin Vernon) makes delightful music.  It’s wild to hear how his music evolves and shifts from album to album, all while maintaining a consistent sonic quality rooted in sparse, patient, and emotional folk - even when the core sound diverges into rock and electronic.

If you haven’t listened to Bon Iver; if you’re interested in a musical journey; if you’re open to new and different sounds; and if you have a lot of time on your hands - then buckle up and turn it up. You’re in for a treat.

I’d definitely recommend listening in chronologic order starting with the first album, “For Emma, Forever Ago” (2008).  Don’t skip the 2009 four track EP, “Blood Bank”.  The self titled 2011 album “Bon Iver” is beautiful and has a warmer and more fully-developed sound than the rest of his music.  Things start getting particularly challenging (and rewarding) in the 2016 album “22, A Million” where his well-established folk sound gets married with an aggressive, dark, esoteric electronic backdrop.  It’s weird, it’s excellent, but it’s probably not good background music - at least not during your first listen.

I’m convinced that everything he touches turns to gold. Check out the last track on Taylor Swift’s latest album, Evermore.  Swift spins her wheels on this tune for two and a half minutes until Vernon jumps in, changes up the melody, lays down some passionate poetry, knocks it out of the park, and then ducks out of the track after about 60 seconds.  That’s a virtuoso.

Is there a line that I can just go cross?

-Bon Iver

Enjoy! And let me know if you have a good music discovery tool!

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