Saturday, December 17, 2011

Still Alive For You, Love

You will forgive a law student who was until recently under severe reading-and-exam-induced duress for being late to this party, but I just recently picked up Bon Iver's latest self-titled album released earlier this year. Having consumed "For Emma, Forever Ago" earlier in the summer, this purchase has long been pending. The album is more grower than shower but it is on its face a musical and lyrical triumph: beautiful in shape and sound. I could have picked any song off the album to talk about, especially the tragically gorgeous, Grammy-nominated, and Christmas-appropriate "Holocene," but the album's first track "Perth" is the one that has really captured my imagination. Give it a listen, and within seconds of hearing that warm, low-tone, reverbed clean guitar riff you'll be gutted. I want to meet Justin Vernon and hug him for this riff alone. I cannot tell you how many times I've put these chords together in an attempt to convey a feeling of muted and weary perseverance in the midst of profound sadness only to fall just short (and I've come really close). And here is Vernon, succeeding where I failed, adding in those elegant hammer and pull-offs and creating such evocative dissonance. I have a feeling I'll be spinning this album for a while.

Step into the rain:

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