Four years have passed since Bon Iver’s first record was released, what’s changed since then? Justin Vernon is well known for escaping to the woods, living in a cabin and recording an album on his own. For Emma, Forever Ago was a record about isolation, longing, loneliness and a broken heart but with this new incarnation the themes have changed. As you hit play for the first time, as each track starts and comes to a close you notice a trend that is names and places. Some of the names are from real places (“Perth”, this opening track will relate to Australians) and others are a mixture of different places(“Hinnom, TX”, “Michicant”) and made to sound like ones you may know of.
Bon Iver is a collection of tales from someone who’s been touring the globe non stop since the debut release and as this was happening the influences of the cities and cultures seemed to inspire Justin to write for the new LP, even if it was still years away from being put together in a studio. One would be lead to believe that after having so much time to work on side projects, collaborations and the such, most notably with Kanye West sampling Woods, Justin would have a lot of different techniques up his sleeve but he continues on his lovely folk path. Sure he is an amazing song writer and has a voice that sends chills up your spine at the end of the day Bon Iver is the end result of more than just expressing your feelings, transcending styles from other genres and making a catchy tune. It’s about involving the listener in the satisfaction of creating the record and sending them on their own personal journey. It may be through the intricate lyrics which are waiting to just catch you off guard but that’s not needed if the listener doesn’t want to look that deep. Justin has said the record as a whole is a cycle, it’s a cycle of finding where you’re ready to start and finding your destination. Each listen gives a new meaning, it expresses itself to you, the listener and that’s how this LP will connect with many audiences.