Context is everything.
To record 'For Emma, Forever Ago', Bon Hiver - aka Justin Vernon - retreated to the remotest corner of Wisconsin and recorded alone for three cold winter months.
That sense of loneliness, that dull, confusing ache that swells up when things just fall apart, it's all captured here in hearty acoustic strums and softly whispered vocals.
Bon Iver is a play on the French words for 'good winter'. And that is notable because what could have been a very bad winter for Vernon was salvaged by the recording of this extraordinary album.
Sitting on the sonic spectrum between Iron and Wine and Jose Gonzalez, 'For Emma, Forever Ago' is nine songs of subtle, layered acoustic guitar and Vernon's healing falsetto.
It's an album you spin when your lover leaves you. In that context, Bon Iver will make you feel better about being sad.
Context is everything and 'For Emma, Forever Ago' is brilliant. Download 'Skinny Love' here: myspace.com/boniver