With the success of their 2007 album For Emma, Forever Ago, Wisconsin native and National Public Radio’s All Songs Considered darling Bon Iver give indie music fans a little taste of things to come- or things that almost didn’t come. The Blood Bank EP consists of four tracks that, while demonstrating their fondness for experimental executions, could have easily been B-sides off their ’07 effort.
<p>Front man Justin Vernon along with Michael Noyce, Sean Carey, and Matthew McCaughan took the name from what they thought was the correct pronunciation of “good winter” in French. The name suits their style of music, which can be as soft as snowflakes yet harsh as a blizzard. </p> <p>The title track has lazily, in a good way, strummed guitars and soothing ‘ooohs’. Vernon’s voice here is angelic and better sounding than when he attempts to hit the high notes, something he has kind of become known for. Blood Bank melds folk and quiet alt-rock into a pitch perfect narrative, culminating in static.</p> <p>On “Beach Baby” his voice is border lining on falsetto, which can be grating at times, and back by country-tinged strings. “Beach Baby” is as sweet as a trip to Coney Island.</p> <p>“Babys” begins with tickled-pink piano and Vernon singing again in falsetto, the piano exits, then re-enters supporting what sounds like at least five tracks of vocals invading the ear.</p> <p>“Woods” was no doubt inspired by his stay in the woods while he wrote the majority of <em>For Emma, Forever Ago</em>, here he plays with auto-tune and it seems to be the only “instrument” on the track. Although a very odd choice, he utilizes this strange musical accessory with more success than Madonna or Britney ever did; beginning with silence which eases into multiple tracks of auto-tuned vocals, some sounding like the call of a Sasquatch. </p> <p>It may not be <em>For Emma, Forever Ago</em>, but these few tracks found on the <em>Blood Bank EP</em> are a good place to start for anyone who hasn’t yet heard Bon Iver and gives fans an idea of what may be to come; hopefully less falsetto.</p>