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Album Review - Bon Iver: Blood Bank

by Mark Grassick, first published in LondonTourdates #042 ,13th March 2009

Justin Vernon’s Bon Iver alter-ego spent about six months as an incredibly well kept secret before exploding in a way that Vernon could never have foreseen.

The desolate, wintery isolation of For Emma, Forever Ago was more than deserving of the many accolades it received. Vernon’s next task is proving that there is more to Bon Iver than one beautifully downbeat record. Blood Bank does that effortlessly. The title track still has that ghostly ambience that is by now instantly recognisable but there is a little more meat on its bones, Vernon’s voice more Nebraska Springsteen than the haunting echo of For Emma.

‘Beach Baby’ sees Vernon revert to that high pitched, double-tracked sound and is the equal of anything from Bon Iver’s debut. This may only be a four song EP but there isn’t a single misstep. Put these four songs together with the astounding ‘Brackett, WI’ from the Dark Was The Night compilation and there can be no doubting the extent of Vernon’s talents.

Mark Grassick

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