Tuesday, 31 May 2011

The Definition Of Complete Beauty

Calgary. A large city of foothills and prairie in the south of the Province of Alberta, Canada. It has a population of about a million which makes it the third largest area in Canada. With many major mountain resorts it is a hotspot for, ironically, winter sports and has even had the opportunity to host the Winter Olypics in 1988, becoming the first Canadian city to do so.


It is also the name of Bon Iver's spine-chilling new single. You may be looking at all the other songs I have loved enough to bother to review and thinking "hang on a sec, Beastie Boys are polar opposites of Bon Iver." But you don't need to be a massive indie folk fan to enjoy this song, just someone who appreciates good music.

And this is good music by far. Justin Vernon's echoey vocals are crystal clear, spot-on perfect for the song's entirety and complement Sean Carey's amazing piano skills beautifully. And when Michael Noyce and Matthew McCaughan come in with their guitar and drums about half way through, the melodic journey reaches its epiphany. The song works in stages rather than having a bunch of different noises jubled together; making its way systematically up from a peaceful slumber to the head-nodding climax only to gently soothe back into tranquility again and even though having a rocky instrumental bit just before the subtle ending would ruin a track by any other band but Bon Iver can pull it off and make it sound great at the same time.

But let's imagine you've never heard For Emma, Long Ago or any Bon Iver songs but the name rings a bell. Well you know that terrible Birdy song (no I don't mean the annoying one by The Tweets) called Skinny Love? It was a cover of Bon Iver's debut single from 2008. No they haven't got the same following as Mumford & Sons or Fleet Foxes but by no means does that mean they should be discarded. Amazing (I really do overuse that word don't I!).

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