One of the downsides of living in Southern California is that you never really get winter. I know, I know a SoCal native bitching about the weather while those on the east coast or in other countries freezing their butts off is bit of piling on, but we write what we know so bear with me. This year it seems that we have had a longer than usual warm period out here which has led to a delay in my pulling out the sweaters and jackets. This is important because I absolutely detest wearing a shirt and tie to work and winter always allowed me to slide a bit on the wardrobe. But it also lacks a certain romance to the impending holiday season when I'm running around in shorts and flip flops. So I have decided to try to get myself in a colder place mentally by drifting to more somber and solemn musical selections. The wife has long held BON IVER up as a bastion of cool indie folk and I have been somewhat resistant. But after finally breaking down and partaking of "For Emma, Forever Ago" and the subsequent "Blood Bank EP" I have come to appreciate his music. His voice has such an ethereal quality that it often seems as if it is floating over the instrumentation rather than part of the song. The arrangements are sparse (fitting with the cold space theme I had been searching for). One can almost feel the frost of the guitar as he strums the notes on "Blood Bank" and "Woods from the ep.
Then there is his contribution to the TWILIGHT SOUNDTRACK. This is not the place to get into my conflicted feelings on this soundtrack. We will discuss that later. But his duet with St. Vincent is a simply beautiful piece of music. It's so fragile and yet so powerful as the sound of two voices melds into one. Bon Iver brings my mind to the cold of winter, and that is a good thing.
(mp3) Bon Iver -- Blood Bank