Filled with ambient sounds (including lead singer Justin Vernon's voice), "Bon Iver" is like a break from reality. The tracks are almost indistinguishable from each other; they all run together to create an album that, overall, flows. All the instruments have a clean, fresh sound, making the album feel light and relaxing.
Vernon's voice is something of an instrument itself. He has the ability to go all over the note spectrum, from his infamous higher end at the top of the sky all the way to the deep notes located in the roots of the ground. While the album seems to lack notable use of the bass guitar, Vernon's voice goes so low at times that it seems to be used as a replacement.
A specific song worth mentioning is "Holocene," where Vernon proclaims, "At once I knew I was not magnificent." He may not think he is, but the song will persuade you otherwise. It starts off sounding light, almost feathery, and becomes more profound with the swelling of the rhythms as the song goes on.
"Bon Iver" is a soundtrack to life, a versatile journey through music, both depressing at times and revitalizing in other moments. With this album, Bon Iver has created a promising future. Hopefully you're one of the lucky few hundred people to have tickets to his show at the Pageant on September 11.
Written by Jill Cherkas, Music Department
On the KDHX Charts: #4 CMJ for July 26, 2011