The one man is Justin Vernon, who sequestered himself in a cabin in the woods while suffering from a bout of glandular fever, which started on the 18-hour car trip back to Northwestern Wisconsin during the winter of 2006. He’d left behind a band, a relationship, and a life in North Carolina in order to heal, spiritually re-boot, and generally go into hibernation. As it turns out, part of that process involved making this record.
Completely alone for a quarter of a year in his Dad’s cabin in the woods, Vernon spent the time hunting deer (his staple food while there), chopping wood, and recording his album using the bits and bobs of well-aged equipment he had on hand. The result is a spare and soulful album, sung with a falsetto voice that suggests a multi-tracked Skip James in places. The record is currently impressing the members of the music press (MOJO magazine declares it to be one of their “MOJO Instant Classics”), and making everyone wonder how the guy is going to top it.
I love to hear about albums with interesting back stories, and I’ve recently added this one to my favourites. It’s like the Basement Tapes in solitary confinement!
Bon Iver is currently touring North America, and will be appearing in Europe too in the coming autumn.
For more music and tour dates, check out the Bon Iver MySpace page.