.

Breaking: Bon Iver

December 10, 2008 1:39 PM ET

Who: Bon Iver, the nom de plume of Justin Vernon, who isolated himself in a cabin during a harsh Wisconsin winter and emerged with 2008's most buzzed-about folk album, For Emma, Forever Ago, a set of nine songs adored by music critics and Grey's Anatomy fans alike.

Sounds Like: Picture Nick Drake if the Pink Moon singer pulled a Henry David Thoreau and ensconced himself in the woods. For Emma is an icy moonscape of an album, with Vernon layering vocal track over vocal track, harmonizing his eerie falsetto with itself along to chopped and spliced acoustic guitar on songs like "Flume" and "Creature Fear."

Vital Stats:

• Vernon took refuge in his father's Wisconsin hunting cabin in the winter of 2006 following a bad breakup and a nasty case of mono. "This is not the sound of a new man or crispy realization/It's the sound of the unlocking and the lift away," he sings. Once there, the man we call Bon Iver subsisted on deer meat, Leinenkugel beer and Northern Exposure DVDs.

• Since the album's release in 2007 (and subsequent rerelease this year), Vernon's songs have been featured three times on Grey's Anatomy, he's performed with the likes of Okkervil River and Lykke Li and even Lily Allen has blogged about his music. He was also invited to participate in a tribute to one of his personal heroes, John Prine.

• Bon Iver will release a new EP, titled Blood Bank, in January. After that, Vernon will tour Australia before returning back to Madison, Wisconsin for one last blowout show before he "disappears" to work on his next album. "I'm not going to go back to the cabin," Vernon admits, "That would be ridiculous."

Hear It Now: For Emma, Forever Ago is in stores both physical and digital now, with the Blood Bank EP due out January 20th. Until then, check out this week's Breaking video, featuring Bon Iver's clip for Emma's "The Wolves, Act I and II."

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

prev
Music Main Next
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.

X

We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“Promiscuous”

Nelly Furtado with Timbaland | 2006

This club-oriented single featuring Timbaland, who produced Nelly Furtado's third album, Loose, was Furtado’s sexy return after the Canadian singer's exploration of her Portuguese heritage on Folklore. "In the studio, initially I didn’t know if I could do it, 'cause Timbaland wrote that chorus," Furtado said. "I'm like, 'That's cool, but I don't know if I'm ready to do full-out club.'" The flirty lyrics are a dance between a guy and girl, each knowing they will end up in bed together but still playing the game. "Tim and I called it 'The BlackBerry Song,' she said, "because everything we say in the song you could text-message to somebody."

More Song Stories entries »
 
www.expandtheroom.com