Tags Of 2011 #1 – Bon Iver
Making that difficult second album look easy, Bon Iver’s frontman Justin Vernon returned in 2011 with a sophomore work maintaining the intimate formula that earned him acclaim. Since the release of ‘For Emma, Forever Ago’, Vernon’s personal brand of alt folk has been a major influence for musicians of all genres. From hip-hop stars such as Kanye West, who sampled one of the auto-tuned tracks on his follow-up EP ‘Blood Bank’; to electronica wizard James Blake, with whom he recently collaborated on the track, ‘Fall Creek Boys Choir.’
Bon Iver’s follow up may have lacked the heartache that inspired his classic debut. It also leaned on complex production with richer arrangements. But somehow Bon Iver’s self titled follow up managed to preserve that spirit of introspection his first album gained from recording in a secluded woodland cabin.
The anticipating single ‘Calgary’ was a good reminder of the qualities that gave the band an instant cult following. Released alongside a cover of Bonnie Raitt’s much praised ballad, ‘I Can’t Make You Love Me’, it propelled the album to the top of the charts and helped sell out an international tour as soon it was announced. Even the Grammys fell under his spell by granting Bon Iver a bunch of nominations, included a belated one for Best New Artist.
Listen to ‘Calgary’ here.