Featured Album

WXPN Radio

The premier guide for new and significant artists in rock, blues, and folk - including NPR-syndicated World Cafe ®

XPoNential Radio

24/7 Musical discovery. A unique mix of emerging and heritage blues, rock, world, folk, and alt-country artists.

World Cafe Archives

Join David Dye as he navigates the World Cafe through live performances and interviews with celebrated and emerging artists.

Folk Radio

Folk music radio streaming on the web; Americana, Roots Music, recordings, and stories from folk's best.
Listen Live

Bon Iver - Bon Iver, Bon Iver - Jagjaguwar

CD of the Month

Bon Iver gained notoriety in 2008 with the release of his intimate solo debut For Emma, Forever Ago. The album was heralded as one of the year’s best independent releases. Peter Gabriel would go on to cover Bon Iver and Vernon even ventured into the world of hip-hop as a prominent guest on the latest release from Kanye West. All that would just add to the build-up of expectations for the second Bon Iver album. To say that the new album from Bon Iver singer-songwriter Justin Vernon is easily accessible … well … that wouldn’t be true. Yet despite a much bolder landscape, puzzling lyrics and a general propensity to demand more of its audience Bon Iver, Bon Iver is an inspiring effort.



There is a lot that jumps out when you first dive in to Bon Iver, Bon Iver. First is obviously the difference between the isolated solo endeavor that was For Emma… and the multi-layered, full force of these new songs. It is an adventurous challenge. Yet, the one thing that is comparable between records is the warmth and dreaminess of the material. Vernon again is masterful at creating a sense of comfort, and it’s most noticeable on songs like “Holocene” and “Towers”. Another quick observation is that many of the titles are references to places (i.e. “Perth,” “Calgary,” and “Lisbon, OH”). And while it’s not easy to tie the locations to what exactly those songs are about, the album almost becomes a bit of an emotional map. For Vernon who grew up and has lived most of his life in Wisconsin, traveling to these cities is of influence and these songs at best are a glimpse in.

It will become cliché in reviews to label Bon Iver, Bon Iver as challenging, but a ‘must listen’. And beyond the ‘blogger buzz’ and glowing indie credentials there is something rather special and unique going on here. It’s not a one-listen record, in fact when you finish it’s tough not to want to listen again. Vernon has a vision and while following it isn’t exactly effortless, the road to finding it is worth getting lost in.

Check out the complete list of CD of the Month. Join the CD of the Month Club today.

Buy Bon Iver, Bon Iver, XPN's Featured Album of the Week from Amazon.com. Your purchase that starts here, benefits WXPN.

Your Amazon Purchases Support WXPN

66th annual Pastorius Park Concert lineup announced with Hezekiah Jones, The Lawsuits, Mutlu and...

The 2014 Pastorius Park Concert series has been announed, starting Wednesday, June 18th with Hezekiah Jones. The weekly Wednesday...Read More

Tonight’s Concert Picks: Loop at Kung Fu Necktie, The Revivalists at World Cafe Live, The Behn Gillece Quartet at Underground...

Before there was Pure Phase, before there was Screamadelica, there was Loop. The short-lived UK four-piece blended nervy electronic...Read More

Download “Nathaniel,” a folk-rock electronic song by Everything But The Girl’s Ben Watt

Mostly known for his two decade career with his wife Tracey Thorn in Everything But The Girl, Ben Watt stepped into a career as a DJ...Read More

Revisit Band of Horses’ acoustic show at The Merriam; get amped for their plugged-in show at...

Back in February, XPoNential Music Festival headliners Band of Horses went unplugged on the stage of the Merriam Theater, which was...Read More

Daniel Rossen mixes new and old in rare solo show at Underground Arts

Singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Daniel Rossen played a solo, seated show at Underground Arts on Monday. Best known for his...Read More