Album: Bon Iver, For Emma, Forever Ago (4AD)

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The Independent Culture

Dissillusioned with life, love and the break up of his band, at the end of 2006 Justin Vernon went to "hibernate" in a log cabin in the woods of Wisconsin. He chopped wood, he hunted and ate deer and he recorded 'For Emma, Forever Ago', a sort of musical version of Henry David Thoreau's 'Walden'.

And what quiet desperation is on show here: a subtle song suite built around acoustic guitars and multi-layered voices that pitches itself perfectly between anger, acceptance and denial. As isolated musically as its creator was geographically, this is a deceptively sweet-sounding and unique debut album.