It’s never too early to start figuring out which albums will wind up on your year-end best-of. And Bon Iver’s debut disc is already making many people’s early list.
Iver, aka Justin Vernon, has mastered the Iron & Wine-meets-Band of Horses aesthetic: passionate acoustic strums, falsetto vocals and thickly layered harmonies that all come together in one of the year’s strongest indie folk records.
Though the songs are generally the same – minimalist guitar, a lot of vocals, almost no percussion – it’s the brilliant verse hooks of Flame or the vocal-busting choruses of Skinny Love that make this record.
As good as it is, it’s clear that Vernon still has room to grow. A few songs could have used a little extra instrumental kick, and while his songs are great, you can tell he has more to offer. Keep an eye on this one.
Bon Iver plays Lee’s Palace March 5.