Skyrocketed by raw sincerity and a string of recent kingmaking appearances on Jimmy Fallon and the Colbert Report, the high-powered machine that is Justin Vernon’s Bon Iver shows no signs of letting up. Coming on the heels of For Emma, Forever Ago, the cabin-crafted monument to a dead dream, the band’s self-titled second full-length explores themes of isolation and longing under surging swells of dripping guitars and absorbing keys. While still yielding to the thousand yard stare mentality of its predecessor, the new album is a much warmer affair aurally if not content-wise.
If you take the time to really listen to Bon Iver, in a pitch-black room of undivided attention, soundscapes such as “Calgary” and “Holocene” can take you to another planet. And maybe that’s a morose planet engulfed by a floating nebula of lost lovers, depending on how the notes hit you, but the transforming and cutting beauty of Bon Iver’s interlocking parts makes for a delightfully jaw-dropping listening experience.
In an industry flooded with trumpeted artists not worth their weight in salt, Bon Iver’s abstract ruminations more than warrant the hype. The nine-piece touring behemoth will be making its way across the U.S. in September and Europe in October.
At least part of what makes Tyler The Creator and Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All so appealing is their desire to confuse and frighten people. Those who witnessed Odd Future’s first national exposure on Jimmy Fallon last week took little time to rip off each other’s proverbial heads and feast on the goo inside. Amidst a sea of ski masks, garden gnomes and zombie chicks, the raw, punk energy on display as Tyler and Hodgy Beats owned the stage (backed by The Roots) showed the uninitiated exactly what the buzz is all about. And it made Mos Def absolutely loose his shit. Tyler’s XL Recordings debut Goblin is due out in April.