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Bon Iver in Barcelona

By Sergio Pulido 08.07.12
  • Bon Iver photographed by D. L. Anderson, 2011

When Bon Iver's name appeared in the list of nominations for Grammy Awards 2012, social networks were filled with people who were unaware of the band and demanded more prizes for Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber or any other pop star of the moment. Despite the anger of the mainstream tweeter's fans, Bon Iver took home the awards for Best New Artist and Best Alternative Music Album. Half a year after this victory, the name remains a mistery for many people. Who are these Bon Iver?

Behind this capricious orthography there is play on words that depends as pronounced in French can mean "good winter" or "good drunkenness" and is the project of singer-songwriter Justin Vernon of Wisconsin, to whom Mike Noyce, Sean Carey and several session players joined to complement the complex arrangements and vocal harmonies of the songs to play them live. The debut album 'For Emma, forever ago' came in 2007, personally edited and despite its complex sound was recorded totally lo-fi with a few microphones and almost obsolete equipment. Also served to put on the map the talent of Justin and even Peter Gabriel, one of his influences, has recorded a cover version of the song 'Flume' on his album 'Scratch my back'.

The final 'take off' came in 2011 with the second album 'Bon Iver, Bon Iver,' which was again self-produced, but sonically represents a step forward from the first job: if "For Emma ..." could be tagged within a more or less classic folk, 'Bon Iver ... ' is a galactic folk album in which all songs have names of small villages and where Vernon unleashes an unexpected sound palette for the genre: processed voices, vintage synthesizers and 80's ballad airs so strong that even incorporates without fear that instrument so much used in that decade and that was completely eradicated in the 90's: the saxophone, or even worse, processed saxophone. Justin said recently: "If you're not experimenting, you're basically just musically jerking off a bunch of times. Nobody wants to watch anybody masturbate," and for that matter, Bon Iver has opened an interesting new sound bridge to the folk and we're excited to see this talent live, a real talent, which reaches beyond the industry awards and eulogies from the specialized press. Music beautifully wintry for our hot summer of crisis.

  • The 27 July
  • Poble Espanyol, Barcelona
  • Poble Espanyol, Barcelona