Bon Iver

Thursday

SXSW Platters

Bon Iver

For Emma, Forever Ago (Jagjaguwar)

Justin Vernon's Bon Iver (bon ee-vair) and his fragile and resilient debut, For Emma, Forever Ago, were wholly unexpected. After severing ties with girl and band, Vernon retreated to an isolated hunting cabin in the woods of Northwestern Wisconsin to recuperate, and that obvious chill and blinding whiteness swirl throughout the outcome. It's an emotional journey from strum one of the simple "Flume" to the accepting nouveau soft-rock closer "Re: Stacks." Bon Iver is as disparate as his falsetto is strong, highlight "Skinny Love" enveloping TV on the Radio and "The Wolves (Act I and II)" closing with a dose of near-electronic supertracked vocals. His pain is so visceral it provides warmth, the therapeutic definition of music. When the slide guitar and horns meet "For Emma," mind and ears meet her, too, and languish in her presence. For Emma is a paradigm of uninhibited closure, a gentle touch on a sad day. (Thursday, March 13, Mohawk Patio, 11pm.)

****

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Bon Iver, SXSW

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