The Allmusic Guide compares him to Marvin Gaye; the UK music zine Drowned in Sound calls it a “fine appendix to the … story so far;” even Pitchfork gives it a lofty 7.9 out of 10. This might just be the album of the season.
Promising indie musician Bon Iver (Justin Vernon) follows up his 2008 debut album with his Blood Bank EP. Critics have received it warmly and welcomingly: those heart-rending vocals; the evocative, snow-covered backdrop for his loneliness; the whole persona itself.
If you ask me, I think we should stop pinching Bon Iver’s metaphorical cheeks. I am sick to death of hearing the “solitary man in cabin with the voice of an angel” myth.. Instead, we must keep him afloat in the music world as someone who could contribute something of worth.
Vernon’s Blood Bank is an inspiring interweaving of folky chords, high-pitched vocals and flooding crescendos. Against a generally steady beat, Bon Iver’s orchestration of soothing harmonies and haunting falsettos give Blood Bank breathtaking qualities.
The album is both experimental and close to home, in regards to his chilling debut album, For Emma, Forever Ago. Vernon’s music instills a comfortable kind of sadness, one that is familiar and no longer heartbreaking, as Emma had been. To paraphrase his words, it is an indication that Bon Iver is beginning to thaw from the inside.
Vernon reveals a more experimental side when he surprises us with by using nothing but a vocoder in “Woods,” the final song on Blood Bank. At first all I hear is Kanye in a cappella, but when listening closely, the Auto-Tune makes the great effect of a woodsy, natural environment. It looks like a step out of that cabin for Bon Iver with this EP.