People deal with sorrow in a variety of ways. Many of us tend to shut down for periods of time to allow ourselves to recover from painful experiences, sometimes creating a feeling that we are stuck in time, not only stagnant but completely without direction. While many believed Justin Vernon's move deep into the north woods of Wisconsin after breakups with both his longtime girlfriend and previous band, DeYarmond Edison, were for similar reasons, he emerged after three long wintery months with a masterpiece recorded on antiquated recording equipment that would display a season's worth of rumination and what feels like an eternity's worth of emotion: For Emma, Forever Ago. His moniker, the fittingly misspelled french phrase meaning "good winter," has evolved since this album's release in 2008 to include 8 band members and a sophomore album that has awarded the group the Best New Artist award at the 2011 Grammys.
While Bon Iver seems to be heading nowhere but into the spotlight, Vernon's intimacy within his music will be what hopefully keeps his band rooted in where they began almost five years ago - one man's struggle with sorrow and his desire to create something beautiful from it. Not only is his music painfully beautiful to listen to, he is an inspiration to keep growing as a person through hardship and remorse.
The official site of Bon Iver, which allows the viewer to experience their music and videos, check tour dates and read up on the newest happenings of the band.
A newer video of his first hit single, "Skinny Love," performed on The Colbert Report. This recording is a great example of the raw emotions within his freshmen album with some refined qualities from his second album.
This is a newly released set performed with Sean Carey, with newer songs stripped down to two pianos from the band's orchestra. This is a perfect example of the range of Vernon's styles and voice, while providing a great array of songs to compare to Bon Iver's first album.