Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon spent last winter holed up in rural Wisconsin with his guitars, some recording equipment, and a broken heart. When the snow melted, he returned with ten sparse, searching songs that gorgeously evoke the desolate beauty of those surroundings. Vernon’s voice — delicately layered and yearning — gives standouts “Skinny Love” and “Flume” their stunningly direct emotional impact, but his sturdy folk chords, earthy melodies, and plainspoken, pastoral lyrics prevent the album from descending into self-pity. Play Emma when your fire burns low. It’ll help keep you warm.
Now Hear This: Bon Iver, “Skinny Love” DOWNLOAD MP3