For Emma, Forever Ago is the debut album from Wisconsin band Bon Iver. It was self-released in 2007 and received wider release on the Jagjaguwar label in February 2008 (and on the 4AD label in the UK in May 2008). The album was widely acclaimed, receiving spots on critics' end-of-the-year lists, as well as several awards. Following the break-up of his previous band DeYarmond Edison, Justin Vernon, suffering from mononucleosis, secluded himself in a cabin in Medford, Wisconsin for three months planning to "hibernate." Three months of solitude resulted in the creation of For Emma, Forever Ago. "All of his personal trouble, lack of perspective, heartache, longing, love, loss and guilt that had been stockpiled over the course of the past six years, was suddenly purged into the form of song." The record is entirely the creation of Justin Vernon; "despite its complexity, the record was created with nothing more than a few microphones and some aged recording equipment." Read more on Last.fm.
Released January 20th, 2009 Blood bank is Bon Iver's first EP, it was released after the band's first album For Emma, Forever Ago . The Band Explores much more instrumentation than previous works, including a stunning use of a vocoder and multi-track recorder on the song woods . Read more on Last.fm.
The name ‘Bon Iver’ is derived from the French for ‘good winter.’ The album was recorded in Justin Vernon’s home town of Eau Claire in Wisconsin, where the temperature rarely rises above freezing in winter. The Calgary Songfacts reports that Vernon told UK newspaper The Sun naming it Bon Iver shows he’s accepting winter is a big part of the album. Read more on Last.fm.
The ten songs of 22, A Million are a collection of sacred moments, love’s torment and salvation, contexts of intense memories, signs that you can pin meaning onto or disregard as coincidence. If Bon Iver, Bon Iver built a habitat rooted in physical spaces, then 22, A Million is the letting go of that attachment to a place. “I’m taking deeper consideration in another kind of place–our friendships and connections to other people.” Justin proclaims this shift in ’33 “GOD”’: “These will just be places to me now”. Rather than places we encounter a collection of numerical relationships: binary code, mystic ages, Bible chapters, math-logic, repeating infinities. Inside these numbers are a sonic distillation of imagery from the past years of turbulence and how to recover. We hear about positionality (“Down along the creek”, “In the stair up off the hot car lot”), strategies (“I’d make myself escape”, “Steal and rob it”), situations (“Carrying his guitar”, “Sent your sister home in a cab”), new lexicon (“Astuary King”, “Wandry”, “Paramind”) temporalities (“The math ahead, the math behind”, “It might be over soon”) and repeated visuals (“Five lane divers”). These words reveal the riddle of dualities: pain and love, suffering and redemption, omens and happenstance. Such ambiguity and interpretation is the core of how Justin composes words: there are always two ways to see something. Beneath this Daoist-impressionism, we hear the footsteps of a process, the relationships that have kneaded the album’s cause. A locked horns angel, empathetic ears and sagely blessings—friends who have provided themselves in different roles to mold this music into form. To narrow this album down to the next step within an “artistic career” would be to miss a far grander purpose of this music—or any music for that matter—and the cultures of friendship that sustain us in our capacities to even play music. Although22, A Million emerges from a swirling context of transformation in Justin’s recent life, it is based on how we have always approached what music can be or do. It is not the perceived power of money and fame that will change the course of events in one’s life, but empathy. Music is a pathway that allows us to listen to ourselves and the people that surround us. It is a pathway to understanding that actively creates change in real-time. Music, even in its most intimate moments, is a pathway between us all. It is the nuts and bolts of humanity as well as its totality. It is made sacred between people and in return makes those relationships sacred. It is the buoyant substance that we grab onto when the water rises above our heads. The answer has been here the entire time: just music, always. Read more on Last.fm.