Monday, January 19, 2009


Every now and then music surprises you.There are pretty much two ways to conquer the music world, option 1: have circa €1,000,000 outlay, blitz marketing and airwave campaign, major record company backing and bludgeon the world into believing that the music is worth buying and listening to (thank you Mr. Cowell) or option 2: retire to the woods in deepest darkest America and record music that speaks of loss, break-up and love, hope that one day through word of mouth the album will gain world wide attention.

Although the second option rarely works every now and then a gem of an album is created that by-passes the corporate dragnet and gains recognition through the standard of the music. Bon Iver released one such album in early 2008 with "Emma, Forever Ago" with a collection of songs that were bleak, sparse and genuinely breath-taking in the mould of Bruce Springsteen's "Nebraska". There were no weak tracks on the album and it included the classics "Flume" and "Skinny Love" which were without doubt some of the best songs of 2008.

Following hot on the heels of the album Bon Iver have released a four track EP "Blood Bank". Recorded at the same time as the album these songs are no cast-offs or a cynical effort of profiteering on the back of the albums success (not looking at you Coldplay... ahem). The four tracks: Blood Bank, Babys, Beach Baby and Woods are along the same lines musically as the album although Woods has a slightly bizarre sound driven by unusual beats and some nice voice distortion. Its all good and should do as well as it predecessor. Still its not a get up and dance EP but has a quality that just doesn't leave the listener go, you just keep coming back for more. Low-fi, not over produced and a soundtrack for closing out winter. You can't ask for much more. A cabin in Wisconsin could be the answer to some of music woes!!

Take a look at a home camcorder and some dubious recording of a recent Bon Iver concert, crowd movement and grainy images for free. Bon Iver: Blood Bank