#8. Bon Iver, For Emma, Forever Ago (2007): Writing songs about heartache is nothing new. In fact, entire genres (blues, country music) of music are almost entirely about the subject. As a result, devoting an album to the feeling of a love lost doesn’t always come across well……. enter in Justin Vernon. Recording under the name Bon Iver (“good winter” in French), Vernon retreated to his father’s cabin to record a collection of songs about his broken heart. To be sure, this is a simple album. Vernon wrote and recorded the tunes all by himself. With a few exceptions, the album features only him on vocals and guitar. As a natural consequence, the simplicity of production brings out the gut wrenching feeling of loss. Vernon’s soulful falsetto vocals evoke a sound akin to Michael McDonald. Laugh if you must, but it works; almost to perfection. The raw emotion is palpable, if for any other reason because its real.
If you’ve ever experienced heartache but needed just the right musical companion to wallow in your misery, this is the album for you. On the other hand, the beauty of sadness most evident on this album would be an equally good reason to give this one a listen.
Faves: Flume, Lump Sum, Skinny Love, Blindsided
Listen Here: http://www.lala.com/#artist/Bon_Iver