Favorite Track: "Hey, Ma" Least Favorite Track: "Jelmore"
Sometimes music isn’t simply about the way it sounds, sometimes it is about what it means. Bon Iver is a recording project and band founded by Justin Vernon. In the seclusion of the woods in the middle of Wisconsin at his father's cabin, fresh off a break up with his longtime girlfriend and with his band Vernon would record a number of tracks that would eventually go on to be the debut project of Bon Iver; For Emma, Forever Ago. For Emma, Forever Ago was supposed to be Vernons goodbye to music. With his depression on the rise and his dreams of pursuing music professionally on the backburner, the plan was too simply put out one last project and then to pursue music education. His friends eventually convinced Vernon to self release For Emma on MySpace. For months no one took notice, further convincing Vernon that his decision to give up on making music was the correct one. Until one day “My Old Kentucky Blog” took notice. This snowballed the album into popular reception and eventually landed Vernon a record deal. For Emma, Forever Ago was supposed to be the end, instead it was the beginning. Three depressing LP’s later and Bon Iver is now back with their fourth studio album. The Indie Folk roots on For Emma and on their Self-titled as well as the experimental electronica on 22, A Million had one thing in common; the tone. Thus far, we haven’t gotten much from Bon Iver that didn’t detail Justin Vernon's depression. It was essentially what created the band in the first place, but i,i is different. This project is years away from the sensitive, powerful, acoustic ballads on For Emma. These tracks are a forward march, and a toast to the future. The second track on the LP “Mi” reflects; “living in a lonesome place, had me thinking other ways”. While “Holyfields” boasts “Danger been stepping in, I'm happy as I ever been”. If Justin Vernon stopped making music right now, it would feel right. i,i is his march into the sunset that follows the complete and utter lows that surrounded the ballads of For Emma, Forever Ago and every other Bon Iver release up until this point. Happiness is possible, life after depression can still be life. Justin Vernon is no longer lost.