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Monday, 12 November 2012 08:30

Falling in love with music: 'Bon Iver, Bon Iver' + Video

Falling in love with music: 'Bon Iver, Bon Iver'
Written by David Mooney
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Though it was released in the summer -- and both the album and band take their names from the French bon hiver, meaning "good winter" -- "Bon Iver, Bon Iver" is infallibly a record for the autumn months.

If Bon Iver's second full-length album encompassed any more of that fall feeling it would have to come with complimentary decomposing leaves and a pumpkin candle.

"Holocene," my favorite track on the album, just feels like the wind on a chilly fall night. Justin Vernon's angelic falsetto and murmured lyrics -- "it's part of me, apart from me, you're laying waste to Halloween" -- deliver a healthy dose of autumn nostalgia illuminated by the bon fires of the past and kept warm in the arms of a former love. One can't help but put on a sweatshirt and jeans to these tempered tunes.

The album is slow and steady like the season, but it too comes to an anticipated end. With this, "Bon Iver" also brings about a sentiment of change in one way or another when the final seconds of sound dwindle away. Lyrics from "Michicant" reflect upon an important event in the writer's life:

I was unafraid, I was a boy, I was a tender age

Melic in the naked, knew a lake and drew the lofts for page

Hurdle all the waitings up, know it wasn't wedded love

Four long minutes end and it was over, it'd all be back

And the frost took up the eyes

The album is loaded with beautiful but vague and hard to define lyrics -- if you can even make them out at all. Nearly everyone who sings along with this record has his or her own interpretation of each song, picking out audible lines like "Never gonna break, never gonna break" and holding strong to them is the key.

But therein lies the brilliance of Justin Vernon and this record: his ability to create such a strong emotional connection with the listener, even if it is solely through the sounds; such connections elevate this record to masterpiece status.

So sit down while you can with a cup of warm apple cider and wrap yourself up in the emotional blanket of this album, because pretty soon winter will be here and then you'll be listening to "For Emma, Forever Ago" and feeling sadder for everything.

Discover more great autumn albums in our "Falling in Love With Music" series.

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