Winter is coming, which means it’s prime time to sip tea by a windowsill and listen to Bon Iver. The indie-folk band front runner Justin Vernon has been been a bit under the radar since his last album release a few years ago, but we all know that Skinny Love will always be relevant. Here are 10 things you should know about Bon Iver:
The name “Bon Iver” comes from the French phrase bon hiver which means “good winter”. It’s pronounced bohn-ee-vair.
Bon Iver’s first album, For Emma, Forever Ago came about when singer-songwriter Justin Vernon fled North Carolina to a small cabin in northern Wisconsin. Vernon’s band had broken up, he’d just ended a relationship, and on top of that, he had mononucleosis. He didn’t intend to write any music, just recuperate, but after three months of isolation a record began to evolve.
Justin Vernon first released For Emma, Forever Ago independently. He initially pressed 500 CD’s and played a small show in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.
When Kanye West asked Bon Iver to collaborate with him in Hawaii for Kanye’s album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, Vernon asked if Kanye would come to Wisconsin instead. Kanye agreed!! But then his flight got delayed due to heavy snow, and Vernon ended up in Hawaii anyway, hanging out with Kanye, Nicki Minaj, and Rick Ross.
Justin Vernon loves the Indigo Girls. He has lyrics from their song, “Fugitive” on his arm: “I said, remember this how it should be.”
6. Justin is an avid hunter; he’s known for rescheduling tour dates if they align with hunting season.
7. Justin’s favorite song to play live is “Flume”. He told NPR that “There are things that happen in the song that I can go to and be in. It can sort of be changing every night. I think I got really into that thought that a song could change and breathe and bleed.”
8. Bon Iver is only one part of Justin Vernon’s music career; he’s also a part of the groups Volcano Choir and the Shouting Matches and even started a music festival called “Eaux Claires” in 2015.
9. Even as a big-time, Grammy-winning artist, Vernon is content to stay in rural Wisconsin. He says “It’s cheap. It’s awesome. It’s gorgeous. You don’t have to deal with idiots very often.”
10. If you really miss Bon Iver and your headphones just aren’t cutting it, check out their 2016 tour dates here. The first destination is South Korea in February!!