12 Days of Music: A Review of Bon Iver’s Album 22, A Million

Artist: Bon Iver

Album: 22, A Million – Jagjagwar 2016

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Almost 10 years ago, Justin Vernon spent a long winter in his father’s cabin in Wisconsin; recovering from mono, binge watching Northern Exposure and writing a groundbreaking album under his new persona. Bon Iver, loosely translated, means “good winter” in French, which is the optimal time to listen to his latest album, 22, A Million.

I picked this album as one of my personal favorites of 2016 for a variety of reasons; it’s personal, experimental and it’s a gorgeous example of an artist continuing to evolve and push musical boundaries. The intimacy and tone of “22 (Over Soon)” is accompanied by angelic voices, then interrupted briefly with quivering glitches that cause one to stop, breathe and pay attention. The slight use of saxophone and slow-building keyboards give “8 (Circle)” an almost ambient blues kind of vibe, that grows on you after repeated plays. Bon Iver’s 22, A Million is a gift, one of the year’s most complexing albums, one that reveals itself slowly, with new discoveries with each listen.

Check out the full album on Soundcloud.