I was introduced to Bon Iver by an unlikely source: the nice man who works at the Verizon store. Back in March, I used my birthday money to buy myself an iPhone, just like any good 14-year old would do. For some reason, transferring all my info from my old phone to the iPhone required me to go home and sync the iPhone to my iTunes library (don’t ask, I don’t understand or care why). When I returned to the store to complete the process, the dude who works there had the opportunity to snoop at what I had in my music library and saw that it included Arcade Fire, which apparently gave me some credibility; I’m hoping he didn’t get down to B for Britney Spears or C for Coldplay. Anyway, he went to the trouble of writing down Bon Iver as an artist I should try. When I got home I bought a song to be polite. After all, our family spends enough time in that dumb store that I wanted to stay on his good side.
Bon Iver wrote his first album while holed up in a cabin in northern Wisconsin. His second album has landed itself on MTV’s best albums of 2011 (so far), so I decided to give it a try. After listening for several days, my main impression is that it makes me very, very sleepy. Very.
I call Bon Iver “mellow with a twist of alternative”, which will soon be a genre recognized on iTunes. Don’t mistake sleepy for boring. You should, however, listen to Bon Iver’s album (cleverly entitled “Bon Iver”) with caution. I’ve compiled a list of circumstances and places where you should and should not listen to Bon Iver. I hope you find this helpful.
Listen to Bon Iver:
• While lying in a hammock by a lake
• While dozing on the train
• While strolling down a tree-lined path
• While receiving any sort of spa treatment
• While watching a sunset
• After receiving instructions from your doctor to lower your blood pressure
• Through headphones when your kids are annoying you
• While petting a 10+ year old Golden Retriever
Do not listen to Bon Iver:
• While exercising (exception: a gentle ride in a canoe)
• While driving at night or on any sort of cross country trip
• When preparing to go out clubbing (is that a real phrase or have I been watching too much “Jersey Shore”?)
• While attempting to wake up in the morning
• In the company of small children as the disparity of sounds will confuse your brain
So there you have it: listen to Bon Iver with the caveat that you might fall asleep, which is certainly not always a bad thing. You’ll note that the times and places to listen to Bon Iver outnumber those times and places to avoid it. Personally, I can’t wait to take a nap on the porch this weekend and have Bon Iver lull me to sleep.
Here is the video for “Calgary”, one of the songs on the album. It begins, appropriately enough, with a woman sleeping. Sweet dreams!
Filed under: Album Reviews