Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Bon Iver...Why Are You So Good?

Today, January 20th could have been one of the best days in new music in a long time. First of all, Andrew Bird came out with a new album and it is AWESOME. SOOOOO good!!!! I love it and you must buy it now but the highlight for me today was the release of Bon Iver's new EP, Blood Bank. These four incredible songs has completely changed not only the way I look at Bon Iver's music, but music as a whole. It is in every sense of the word, perfect. Bon Iver has taken all of his talent from his first album and has added tons of energy. Every second of this album is strong, powerful, beautiful, fragile, and tight. Unlike For Emma, Forever Ago, the EP was produced at a much higher quality and it really shows through. Every sound is heard clearly and it doesn't have any rough edges.

The first song on the EP is Blood Bank, a very strong song with a lot of great components. The dull guitar reminds me a little of Neil Young and it is solid like a rock. It really flows but hits hard. Vernon's vocals come in next and they are haunting as ever. His voice is just perfect and it blends right in with the rest of the song. The lyrics are also fantastic, painting a beautiful picture but at the same is a little scary.

The next song is Beach Baby, a throw back ( I guess its not much of a throw back since For Emma came out last year but...) to For Emma, Forever Ago. It's a very kind and gentle song that really slows everything down. The lyrics as well bring a calming effect to your body.

The third track, Babys, is awesome and heart pounding. The high pitch piano is great and really hits your ears in a very nice way. It's very intense and really energetic. The lyrics make me think he's running from something but running with someone. All the high pitches in this song come together in an erie, melodious, beautiful, Bon Iver-y way and is very good.

Now on to the real gem of the EP, Woods. I can say little about this song except for...WOW! This song is fantastic and his best song yet. It sounds as though it came to him in a dream and the thoughts and tune could not escape him. I love that he didn't add any instruments so that we can really focus on the lyrics, which are fantastic. They really capture the essence of the song and I think what his music is all about. He only sings one verse the entire song but he sings it over and over again, adding and subtracting layers of vocals each time and each verse, sounds like a new song. The high pitch wails scream power and passion, the extremely low, almost indecipherable blows go straight to the soul and pulls at the strings of my heart. Together, each part of the song is perfect and nearly brings me to tears each time I listen to it (9 to be exact). If you're going to buy this EP, the main reason should be to hear this one song that may change your ears forever.

In the end, this is the first must hear album of 09 and I think it will stay at the top of my list for a long time. I give it 5/5 stars and I only wish I could personally thank Justin Vernon myself for writing such beautiful music. So I leave you with a quote I came across that was said by Jagjaguwar, the record label that Bon Iver is signed to, about the new EP that I feel is very true.

"As much as Emma is about the cold, the Blood Bank collection is about the warmth that gets you through it. You can feel the air move. Like a fire you've been stoking for hours and finally got to sustain itself, the heat blisters your face while your back is frozen solid."

1 comment:

  1. Can't wait to hear this EP! I have seen him play the first three songs live but not the last one and according to you I am really missing out. I am definitely gonna check this out.

    have you seen my video of blood bank live? pretty bad quality but still...