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Cabin Fever

Posted by sdrury on November 21, 2009

Go to any coffee shop or café and you’re bound to hear a singer-songwriter introspectively crooning James Taylor or Cat Stevens songs. You can throw a Frisbee and hit an angst-ridden, earthy, unshaven white dude in his late 20s amid some existential crisis. Or you can just listen to NPR’s All Songs Considered for about ten minutes. There’s so many of these guys that when a good one comes along I take notice.

Bon Iver (pronounced bawn ee-vair) is the nom de plume of Justin Vernon. In November 2006 he retreated to a cabin in Wisconsin. The band he was in had just broken up. He and his girlfriend had similarly parted ways. He spent three months in the cabin, just him and his guitar. The result of his Spartan existence became an album called, without irony, For Emma Forever Ago. It was released in 2008.

The first time I listened to Emma I was non-plussed, put off by his falsetto. Then I saw this video.

 It’s from ex-Squeeze keyboardist Jools Holland’s BBC show. The song is called Skinny Love. The man is serious. You can’t fake heartbreak.

Now, if a week passes that I don’t queue up Emma, I feel as if I’ve been disloyal to a friend. And I’ve been listening to it for over a year. It’s that good. Buy it here. You’re welcome.


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