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Bon Iver – Blood Bank (2009)

February 19, 2009
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Blood Bank is basically 4 nice simple new songs from Justin Vernon as part of his semi-moniker, Bon Iver. These four tracks were recorded in various places between 2006 to 2008 and in a way, Justin was right to not include these pieces on the masterpiece, For Emma, Forever Ago. In reality this is just outtake fodder. I couldn’t help that it was just tiding things over until the next major release.

A lot of the tracks just plod along in a serene way. “Beach Baby” is a short, lazy piece that doesn’t really have much structure to it and is really saved by a sweet slide guitar solo towards its end. “Blood Bank” for some reason reminds me of a Coldplay, and I reckon even Chris Martin could cover this track and it would bear no resemblance to Justin’s version. It’s a dark hued ballad which keeps his falsetto in check and a tinge of country waltz, so it has that in its favour. There’s also a bit of experimentation on “Babys”, which has Justin’s voice working it’s falsetto out even more, combined with a weird clunky piano line which develops to something a little more sweeter as the song rolls by.

Most my attention on this EP was around “Woods” and its interesting use of vocodor though. Justin gets all Imogen Heap on us here with really interesting sounds emulated with a lovely a capella piece with captivating harmonies. The arrangement of this track is really miraculous in it’s own way, despite being so far removed from what Bon Iver’s sound. A beautifully strange piece, whose other tracks are musical equivalent of small passing ships, sailing on by never to be seen again.

Bon Iver – Blood Bank (mp3)
Bon Iver myspace website

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