Blood Bank

Bon Iver's new record grows on the frozen, thawed, burnt ground of an album so worshiped in end-of-year polls. That album is followed by one that comes close to the live, fiery, flesh version of Justin Vernon.

Man goes to the woods, builds fire, thinks, records album, wins huge, deserved praise in end-of-year list gatherings. Justin Vernon, Bon Iver, will soon be back with Blood Bank EP. Less snow, presumably less contemplation--he had all winter to record his previous work--though the layers continue to pile on as he burns folk down to its charcoaled, wind-bent, dark-blooded essence.

He does like Imogen Heap did on "Hide and Seek" in EP closer "Woods." Vocoders don't have a magic quality, they only give life to big voices. Inner fear echoes as outer noises of the woods howl, exposed, and demand the flesh. Or at least Bon Iver demands a live viewing, hearing the next 200 pages that will never be given justice on record, moments that would seem indulgent laid down on tracks. But, witnessed first person, the second half of every song, as it ascends and triples seasons' lengths, is worthy. For Bon Iver, the physical tracks aren't even half the story, it's the ongoing process that lives and breathes. This starts to come close:


TMN Editor Mike Deri Smith is no gourmet, he just has an abnormally large stomach. He lives in London. More by Mike Deri Smith

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