Blood Bank

EP by released in 2009
Blood Bank's tracklist:
Blood Bank
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Beach Baby
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Blood Bank review

Bon Iver’s music is perfect for long winter evenings

Justin Vernon, a talented indie-folk singer and songwriter from Wisconsin has played with the band DeYarmond Edison for quite a long time but their ways parted at some point. The departure coincided with his breakup with a girl that hit him as rather hard. Besides he was suffering from a liver disease and preferred to go to the North of Wisconsin to his father’s cabin in the woods where he spent three months in quite severe conditions thinking over his situation. Although Vernon never planned recording any new material at that period it is then when his new album For Emma, Forever Ago was born to be released in 2007 as the record of his project Bon Iver. Vernon performed with Mike Noyce and Sean Carey on stage so they can be considered the project members and all the production was carried out by Justin himself. This year EP Blood Bank of four tracks is released, it is Bon Iver’s sophomore effort with a bit more optimistic epic lyrics that are just perfect for long winter evenings.

Stories long as life on Blood Bank (EP)

Despite that there is snow on the album cover the music on Blood Bank can by no means be called cold. Stories long as life itself are told here all of them being based on Vernon’s personal feelings and reminiscences so each track is filled with the strongest emotions. At the same time these are very calm and peaceful compositions loaded only with a bit of artificial noises which are in fact always appropriate. The title song is most probably devoted to Justin’s ex beloved as he has finally recovered from the breakup with her and is ready to tell her that he is doing fine. A gentle, beautiful song Beach Baby surprises with amazing falsetto vocals and a complicated tune, besides, this is the shortest of the four compositions. Sonorous impetuous keyboards on Babys combine with the slow singing creating a wonderfully harmonious contrast and painting the images of a live nature. The album closes with the most complex composition in the respect of production, Woods, almost an a cappella piece with splendid many layered vocals filled with delight and even happiness.

A great example of pure self-expression

The project’s title is rather unusual and has an interesting history. When Justin was living in the cabin he began watching a reality show Northern Exposure on DVD. In one of the episodes the citizens of Alaska were congratulating each other on the first snow fall and wishing everyone a good winter, which is ‘bon hiver’ in French. Not knowing the correct spelling of the phrase yet Vernon decided to use it as the project’s name and when he learnt it he removed the first letter of the word ‘winter’ (hiver) as it reminded him of ‘liver’ too much and hence of his disease. Today Justin’s music is still vulnerable but there is much more strength and faith in oneself in it. Blood Bank has proved to be the first work to be recorded by Bon Iver in its full line-up unlike the debut album that was entirely based on dubbing. The result is still that music unique in all ways that is a great example of pure self-expression.

Alexandra Zachernovskaya (28.01.2009)
Rate review4.96
Total votes - 504