She Listens: Justin Vernon

So, I’ve been working on this post for a week and a half now and this was one of my original taglines:
Do you ever just want to curl up and get lost in a cloud of music and thought? Which, looking back on it sounds a little simple to me. Music and thought, two very integral things but there’s so much more to offer here. Many times I wish that I could just stop what I was doing and curl up in my bed with a good book and music. But, now, I feel like I have to change my tagline:

“Who is Bon Iver?”
Yes, that sad little statement must be typed, because after Sunday’s Grammy wins, the internet has sparked up a new topic of conversation, just exactly who is this Bon Iver that beat out the likes of Nicki Minaj and J. Cole for Best New Artist?

Well, for all of you who are wondering, Bon Iver is a band from Wisconsin headed by the singer Justin Vernon, who has been in many, many bands with amazing songs to show for them. And they’re amazing. And that’s all I’m going to tell you, because for some things in life, you just have to let the music speak for itself. So, here’s a post for all of you lovers of the music of Vernon, or for all of you whom are not yet acquainted with the mystical music and amazing voice that Vernon calls his own. Enjoy.

Music by Vernon:
Title: “Easy”

“Easy” is on the Hazeltons album, a part of some of Vernon’s solo work. “Easy” showcases Vernon’s lower range and simple and beautiful piano work. It’s a soft, depressing song, definitely one to curl up and think about love lost or whatever you fancy.
Favorite Lyrics: When the time comes,
When your love is lost on me,
I will grant you sympathy
If you let me down easy

Title: “Ring Out”

Not going to lie, this track is a little harder than the woodsy, bells and whistles and saxophone-laden “Bon Iver” tracks than I’m used to. And, in this case, that is a very, very good thing. The first time I listened to “Ring Out” I was kind of speechless, it’s such a powerful song. And, it uses an electric guitar, a prominent electric guitar, something I’m not used to hearing with the softer side of Bon Iver. This song touches on some religious themes or some love themes or whatever you want to believe. That’s what I love about Vernon, you can read as far into his lyrics as you choose, but you can never really understand fully what they symbolize for him. Call me daft, but “Ring Out” is just one of those songs that I can’t fully grasp, but there are parts that I can relate to.
Favorite Lyrics: You arrived and ordered stout, I stared in wordlessness
I just kept noticing your mouth, and how your face just fit
Into every aching void, in what I’ve always missed some way.
This is tougher than I thought,
Holding you the grace I’ve caught,
‘Cause you’re made of everything I want, and I am wringing you out.


Title: “Your Love”, Origanlly Recorded By: The Outfield

So, yeah. Do I even need to introduce this song? Classic 80’s love song, and it’s so cheesy and so wonderful and perfect. Right, so when you add Vernon’s classy falsetto, the obsessiveness factor bounces up times 10. And, you just want to put this cover on repeat and play it at the beach or in your car with the windows rolled down and your Raybans on. Don’t tell me you didn’t think of that same scenario…

Title: “I Can’t Make You Love Me/Nick of Time”, Originally Recorded By: Bonnie Raitt  

This little gem. It gets me every time. I don’t even think there are words to say how emotional and driven and soft and strong and sad and perfect this cover is (so there are words, but not enough…).

Bon Iver Lovlies:

Title: Blood Bank

For me, this song is a declaration of a lifetime with a love. You start out trying to know yourself well, seeing the blood and knowing it as your own, then you have feelings for someone but are a tad too shy to say, you know that feeling well, you take the first steps into love, a feeling you know well, and then the end of the song comes: ” And I said I know it well. That secret that we know that we don’t know how to tell: I’m in love with your honor, I’m in love with your cheeks. What’s that noise up the stairs, babe? Is that Christmas morning creaks?” He knew the sound of a future, a future with this girl and together they’ll be hearing the sound of their children anticipating Santa coming. It’s just so romantic. And I have a feeling that’s why Bon Iver’s music is so popular with all of us indie, folk loving, romantics or however you classify yourself. Everyone loves a good love song.

And I know it well, I know it well.

Title: Re:Stacks

One of my personal favorites, and that’s a hard title to earn. There’s just something about this track that makes me so happy when I listen to it, despite it’s obvious blissfully sad aura. I can just listen to it over and over again.
Favorite Lyrics: This is not the sound of a new man or crispy realization.
It’s the sound of the unlocking and the lift away
Your love will be
Safe with me
::I just kind of feel like these last lines tell the whole tale of “For Emma…” and they’re so perfect. I’ve been tossing that adjective around a lot…

Other Notables:
Last Prom-GAYNGS, All Of Us Free-Mount Vernon, Still-Volcano Choir, Redemption: An Army Man and His Self-Discovery-Justin Vernon, For Emma: A Take-Away Show-Bon Iver.  


About She Listens, She Reads, She Speaks.

A site, written by a young woman, who believes that the two simplest pleasures in life are literature and music. A once-in-awhile look into a folk-loving, pop-culture obsessed, book nerd's mind.
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One Response to She Listens: Justin Vernon

  1. …I thought it was Bonnie Bear….??

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