A Small Glimpse of Bon Iver

A Small Glimpse of Bon Iver


My friend at the bar sitting next to me told me, “It would be impossible to write 300­-500 words about Justin Vernon and his mythical project Bon Iver, and do it any justice.”

But fuck it. I’m going to give it a shot.

We all know who he is and where he is from. He is the underdog from a small American town in the midwest. His story is not one paved with success and grace, but with opportunity and determination. As he is a reserved man, there are things we will never know about him, and that in some crazy way is what makes him more relatable. Fame and notoriety have not changed his spirit and after his second release and a very successful tour, he decided to step down from the stage and focus on other projects.

Under the heat of pressure, it is hard to say how we would all fare and true creativity does not run on a schedule like everything else. You basically have to wait for it to show up. In numerous interviews, Vernon gave his reasons for putting the band on hold as there was nothing to be had, and those years ago we held our records a little closer thinking this might be it.

But a few weeks ago, at the newly established Eaux Claires Music & Art Festival, Bon Iver showed up and even debuted two new songs! Vernon has already confirmed that there is no plan beyond the performance, but the rest of us are letting go of those records a little more, waiting for the next one.

It isn’t every day that a musician comes along that has the emotional diversity and talent to convey it, and then, on top of that, has the widespread appeal to create a movement behind it. Bon Iver was more than a band; it was an idea that sounded like a realistic truth, that finding freedom is a long and battering road. But at the end of it, you realize that once you finally get what you want, that feeling of relief and joy fades to the simple awe striking question- what now?

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