Bon Iver (MySpace) is a play on volume. Led by Justin Vernon, the group’s music is soft and fringes on romantic, as we heard in tunes like “Flume” and “For Emma” and “Skinny Love” off For Emma, Forever Ago. But how does the follow-up to their debut LP, fit in? Blood Bank follows suit, equaling last year’s LP in offering up mysterious, experimental folk-pop.
The play on volume can be heard in the seemingly simplistic nature of Bon Iver’s music. Even in its least complex moments, there is an intricacy unparalleled in the softer side of folk. This is quickly apparent in most Bon Iver tunes, but, on Blood Bank, it is most apparent in the title track thanks to unique vocal harmonies and educated musicianship.
Whether you’re listening to For Emma, Forever Ago or Blood Bank, one thing is blatantly clear: the sweetness that seeps from the music of Bon Iver expands well-beyond anything found before. There’s something conceptual about their music; it’s an idea, or rather a collection of ideas, that allow Bon Iver to shine ever so bright despite a sound ever so quiet.
Jagjaguwar [CDEP, 2009]
1. Blood Bank
2. Beach Baby