The four song 'blood bank' collection continues down the path forged by our number one album of 2008 'for emma, forever ago'. while still tied to the identity of the place where it was born, bon iver is no longer an unplanned entity synonymous with justin vernon. it is an idea, a place and sentiment that has now become as international as it is timeless. from the title track's remembrance of the winter warmth we seek, to the summer love tribute of b-side gem 'babys,' bon iver's snow-blanketed harmonies live across the seasons. still, there is a reverence for sabbatical, solitude and the winding down of time. as much as 'emma' is about the cold, the 'blood bank' collection is about the warmth that gets you through it. you can feel the air move. like a fire you've been stoking for hours and finally got to sustain itself, the heat blisters your face while your back is frozen solid. bon iver has grown to include more than what was available at the much-fabled wisconsin cabin, such as piano, slide guitar, and vocoder. as justin layers on harmonies in the meditative r&b a capella 'woods', he declares "i'm building a still to slow down the time." it is as poetic as it is necessary. both expansive and intimate, these four songs explore the darker and lighter natures of the seasons and what they signify, and offer a dynamic glimpse into the natural energy and refined craftsmanship that characterise justin vernon's music.
1. Blood Bank
2. Beach Baby