Handout photo by D.L. Anderson Photo
February 13, 2011
Justin Vernon first made headlines with the back story to his breakthrough album (2008's "For Emma, Forever Ago," which he recorded by himself in his father's Medford, Wis., cabin) and his surprising collaborations (his voice and fingerprints are all over Kanye West's "My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy"). But the 31-year-old singer-songwriter eclipsed it all last summer with his self-titled second album.
Some were surprised when it earned him the Best New Artist Grammy Award (for proof, go back and watch fellow nominee Nicki Minaj's face right after she lost), but fans of the album knew Vernon was the right choice, thanks to his idiosyncratic mix of timeless melodies, haunting stories, soaring falsetto and curiously effective studio trickery. On "Holocene," he sings, "And at once I knew I was not magnificent." He's given plenty of reasons to think otherwise.
Bon Iver performs Sept. 15 at Merriweather Post Pavilion, 10475 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia. Tickets are $40-$55. Go to merriweathermusic.com.
-- Wesley Case