Emma the dog…right? Here at Lab HQ we have a dog by the name of Emma. A while back (around 2007), Justin Vernon was visiting the HQ and he fell in love with Emma. Then Emma broke his heart. So Justin went up to a cabin in the woods of Wisconsin and wrote a beautiful folk album about the love, loss and longing that he felt after his time with Emma. Okay, so this album might not actually be about our in-house pup, but it was written in a far away cabin and holds all of the heartache and guilt one might expect from a sequestered man. This was Vernon’s debut release as Bon Iver and helped put him on the road to indie/folk stardom. The lo-fi and gritty quality to the recordings mixes wonderfully with the heartbreaking lyrics to create tangible and thick mood for the entirety of the album. “Skinny Love” and “For Emma” are the easy standouts on the record. “Flume” opens the album on a very subdued note and “The Wolves” carries along a similar somber atmosphere. Vernon went on to bigger and better things but his first album is a lovely starting point and a perfect folk album for lonely winter nights.
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- music label: Jagjaguwar 2008