Best New Artist
Best Alternative Music Album
Stereophile Recording of the Month, August 2011!
Four stars for Performance and Four stars for Sonics!
Bon Iver, Bon Iver is Justin Vernon returning to former haunts with a new spirit. The reprises are there solitude, quietude, hope and desperation compressed but always a rhythm arises, a pulse vivified by gratitude and grace notes. The winter, the legend, has faded to just that, and this is the new momentary present. The icicles have dropped, rising up again as grass.
Bon Iver is often equated with just me, says Vernon, but you are who surrounds you, and for Bon Iver, Bon Iver I wanted to invite those voices as musical catalysts. Thus on the track Beth/Rest and throughout the album, we hear the pedal steel of Greg Leisz (Lucinda Williams, Bill Frisell), the uniquely layered low end of Colin Stetsons (Tom Waits, Arcade Fire) saxophones, the riffing of Mike Lewis (Happy Apple, Andrew Bird) altos and tenors, and the lush horns of C.J. Camerieri (Rufus Wainwright, Sufjan Stevens). Bon Iver regulars Sean Carey, Mike Noyce and Matt McCaughan contributed vocals, drums and production, Rob Moose (Antony and the Johnsons, The National) helped with arranging and added strings, and fellow members of Volcano Choir, Jim Schoenecker and Tom Wincek provided processing.
"Despite the importance of the other musical talents on Bon Iver, it's Justin Vernon and the potential inherent within his journey - musical, spiritual, sonic - that's marked him as a clever, gifted artist who has many moods and meditations yet to be explored." - Robert Baird, Stereophile Magazine, August, 2011, pg. 107
"Wisely, when it comes to songwriting, (Justin) Vernon sounds here as if he was content hitting singles and doubles this time out, rather than swinging for the fences and trying to top For Emma's forest of hooks. The stark, spare musical vibe heard on his previous LP and EP is back, albeit in more relaxed form, more elaborately arranged, and not nearly as mournful as that heard on For Emma. From the opening tracks, "Perth" (cities and states are a mini theme on this album), which opens with a field recording of ships in Perth harbor, it's clear that the overall idea has been to deepen the craft evident on the landmark first album." - Robert Baird, Stereophile Magazine, August, 2011, pg. 107
Bon Iver, Bon Iver was recorded and mixed over the course of three years at April Base Studios, a remodeled veterinarians clinic located in rural Fall Creek, Wisconsin.
Re-issue of 2007 release
Includes digital download
Greg Leisz, pedal steel
Colin Stetson, saxophones
Mike Lewis, alto, tenor
C.J. Camerieri, horns
2. Minnesota, WI
6. Hinnom, TX
9. Lisbon, OH