Justin Vernon, singer and songwriter behind Bon Iver has followed up the 2007 release of For Emma, Forever Ago with the self titled EP, Bon Iver. His haunting vocals and simple yet intricate weaving of instrumental sounds and electronics take this album beyond his previously "folk" labeled music. While most listeners identify with the deep rooted theme of "loss" that Vernon explored on For Emma, Forever ago the artist has moved on to a more broad plain on Bon Iver.
Vernon posted the complete lyrics from the songbook after Bon Iver leaked last month but they do not open the doors to the heart of the album. Bon Iver, is as welcoming as For Emma, Forever Ago but while listeners are welcomed in they may not completely get it. Sometimes cryptic the lyrics are often image evoking rather than emotional as the listener tries to piece together the backdrop of Vernon's songwriting. It is through the layered electronic sounds and arrangements that a listener is captured but not overwhelmed with the more experimental direction this album goes, a direction far beyond the simple label of "folk."
Opening tracks; "Perth,""Minnesota" and "Holocene" warm your ears up for the smooth transitions on the rest of the album. But it is Vernon's soulful voice that is the constant, shining through complex arrangements and experimental sounds.The album flows like a story, letting its audience get warmed up, enthralled, and satisfied as he ends with the most dramatic track "Beth/Rest." Recently featured on tracks with the Kanye West there is only more to look forward to from Vernon as he explores more ways to create beautiful music.