Friday, February 10, 2012


justin vernon is a kind of negative image cohen but there's a lot happening beneath the nearly static music he's making: kind of like a frozen landscape but the dynamic of nature is still in full operational mode. cohen was in his mid-30s when his first album, songs of leonard cohen, was released. he sounded older & his writing seemed ancient & profoundly wise. vernon is still a young pup & he sounds less wise than simply aware of his own distinct foibles, which translates into some kind of truth-telling. he's developed a cult-like following, probably based on the web-based initial access to what he was doing. nothing generates fetishism faster than difficult access. i saw him on video perform an astonishing version of "skinny love" a year before his album dropped. i doubted he could sustain the idea of "bon iver" for too long but the newest album(from which this song, holocene, is taken)& his work on kathleen edwards' new album, voyageur, makes me think otherwise.

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