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Bon Iver

Behold the handblown art of Bon Iver.

Justin Vernon, Bon Iver's central figure (joined on these bills by The Wheel), is a Wisconsin-based singer-songwriter who first gained widespread attention for last year's For Emma, Forever Ago, a cathartic recording laid down during a three-month stay in a remote cabin following the collapse of a romantic relationship and a bout with mono. Don't know how related these incidents were, but there's no denying the emotional impact of cuts such as "Blindsided," whose random images — "The moon is a cold light...My feet melt the snow" — combine to form a picture like dabs of color from a pointillist's brush. This year's Blood Bank, a four-song EP, has a few more upbeat moments, comparatively speaking: In the title cut, Vernon scores a kiss from a woman whose admirable qualities include honor and nice cheeks. But overall, he remains a melancholic — albeit one capable of transforming his unhappiness into a fragile form of art.


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