Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Bon Iver - Calgary
For Emma, Forever Ago took a while to grow on me. On first listen, although I liked it, I found it almost impenetrable. By the third listen, I was suddenly overcome by the beauty of that record and it transformed into something much more tangible while maintaining its initial ethereal majesty. I’m not sure if it’s the familiarity with Bon Iver or the song itself, but Calgary seems much more accessible. As with the best of his work, the song is based around the voice which sounds as unique as ever. As soon as Justin Vernon opens his mouth you know this is a Bon Iver track. This is a good thing here as too often these low key tracks that start with just vocals and keyboards can end up sounding like indie versions of Phil Collins’ In the Air Tonight. Thankfully, Bon Iver has some pretty tight quality control so what could have been a pretty banal song about a man laying with his lover is beautiful and haunting. Once the drums and guitars kick in about half way through it’s impossible not to love this song. As with the best of Bon Iver’s work, this song creeps up on you until it’s embedded in your heart.
Updated: I was so wrong about this track and album. The horrifying truth is here.