Gwarlingo’s Pick of the Week: Bon Iver

Bon Iver frontman Justin Vernon (Courtesy Photo)

For all of you Bon Iver fans who have been patiently waiting for new music, your wait is about to come to an end. Bon Iver’s new self-titled album will be released on June 21st.

In the March issue of Rolling Stone, Bon Iver frontman Justin Vernon offers a few clues about his new record. He reveals that each song on the album represents a place–“Calgary,” “Perth,” “Minnesota Wisconsin.” He also confesses to struggling with his songwriting this time around. As a remedy, Vernon focused on building “sounds rather than songs.” In addition to the usual guitars and layered voices, the record features pedal-steel, horns, and saxophone–a more expansive sonic palette than the debut release.

Surely I’m not the only one who’s been playing For Emma, Forever Ago and Blood Bank incessantly since their release a few years ago? I’m eager to see what surprises Vernon has in store.

Note: The free download of “Calgary” is no longer available, but you can sample Bon Iver’s latest record here:


By | 2016-11-11T21:56:10+00:00 05.17.11|Sounds|Comments Off on Gwarlingo’s Pick of the Week: Bon Iver

About the Author:

I’ve spent almost 20 years helping thousands of successful artists of all disciplines and working to make the arts more accessible. (One friend likes to call me “the arts enabler.”) From 1999-2012 I worked at The MacDowell Colony, the nation’s oldest artist colony, but I've also done time at an arts magazine, a library, an art museum, and a raptor rehabilitation center. In May of 2012 I left MacDowell to pursue writing, speaking, curating, and creative projects full-time. In 2015 I was named a “Top 100 Artist, Innovator, Creative” by Origin magazine. I've appeared as an arts and culture commentator on New Hampshire Public Radio, and in 2017 I was the recipient of the Wampler Art Professorship at James Madison University. I am the founder of the Gwarlingo Salon series, which connects artists like DJ Spooky with rural audiences in the Monadnock region. In 2017 my collaborator Corwin Levi and I will publish our first book, Mirror Mirrored, which combines Grimms’ fairy tales with vintage illustration remixes and the work of contemporary artists like Kiki Smith, Carrie Mae Weems, and Amy Cutler. I grew up in Atlanta, Georgia, but have called New Hampshire home since 1999. My studio is located in the historic, mill village of Harrisville. I miss fried okra, the early southern spring, and restaurants that stay open past 9:00 p.m., but rural life agrees with me. In New Hampshire I can see the stars, go kayaking or snowshoeing, watch bald eagles fish in the lake, and focus on my creative work in silence. I no longer have to worry about traffic jams; deer, wild turkeys, and frost heaves are the primary road hazards here. Although I live in the country, I’m fortunate enough to be part of a vibrant arts community that extends beyond this small New England village. The quiet days are punctuated by regular travel and frequent visits to museums, theaters, readings, arts events, lectures, and open studios around the country. (You can read my full CV here.) Thanks for visiting Gwarlingo. I hope you'll be in touch.