Over Bon Iver
Bon Iver (aka Justin Vernon) is a singer-songwriter from Eau Claire, Wisc. His smoldering, acoustic guitar soundscapes take cues from Will Oldham's side-project Bonnie "Prince" Billy and Iron & Wine. The band name is French for "good winter," which aptly describes the stark, drifting quality of Vernon's music. Bon Iver's debut album, 2008's For Emma, Forever Ago, was recorded while Vernon spent four months locked away in a cabin in rural Wisconsin, which is reflected in its bleak, barren sound. The record was a great success, landing on numerous Best of 2008 polls. Vernon followed it up with the 2009 EP Blood Bank, featuring a full backing band. Soon Kanye West came calling and Vernon collaborated with the megastar rapper on his 2010 opus My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. Next up, came 2011's Bon Iver, Bon Iver, a more robust record that would further prove Vernon a unique force in indie music and beyond.