Justin Vernon (Bon Iver) – "Hazleton"

This track is a glimpse into Justin Vernon’s raw musical talent before millions of ears got familiar with his sound through the beautiful Bon Iver release For Emma, Forever Ago. Technology is great, and for music it has led to bands who were once limited to used instruments, garages, and shoddy recording equipment being able to dabble with all kinds of sound effects, synths, and electricity. I love a lot of that music, but Bon Iver reminds us that great music can still be made by a man and an acoustic guitar.

It’s comforting to think that no matter what kind of stuff is possible, music is not the same without the human element. I’m sure one day, labels will create hit-making robots, rendering some programmable pop stars and their puppeteers obsolete. But a robot could never replace Bon Iver. This track was recorded in Wisconsin and 100 copies were released in Raleigh. It’s the first time I’ve ever heard it. Thanks to PMA.

Justin Vernon – Hazleton | YouSendIt


6 Responses to “Justin Vernon (Bon Iver) – "Hazleton"”

  1. 1 ZAAACH
    January 4, 2010 at 7:51 am

    bon iver is legit! i dont give a fuck about what anyone else says!

  2. 2 Jay
    January 4, 2010 at 12:54 pm

    This song, like For Emma, For Ever Ago uses a shitload of multi-tracking. Maybe that's not an "effect", but Vernon most certainly uses technology to layer his voice and guitar riffs, so if you asked him to sit down and play this on an acoustic, it wouldn't sound nearly as rich or full.

  3. 3 Confusion
    January 4, 2010 at 1:07 pm

    Yeah you're right. I guess what I meant was that everything sounds human and natural. But yeah, he definitely uses some recording techniques to get that sound. He still sounds awesome live though.

  4. 4 Jay
    January 4, 2010 at 1:22 pm

    Yeah, not to take anything away from them – I'm a big Bon Iver fan and have a few live shows – just wanted to point that out. A lot of the album tracks off FE,FA sound like a full choir is singing them.You ever heard Wood off their Blood Bank EP? Sick track using both multi-tracking and auto-tune. It builds and builds adding layer after layer. Really cool shit.

  5. 5 Confusion
    January 4, 2010 at 8:47 pm

    Yeah I like that one. For Emma, Forever Ago is still my favorite though. Probably one of my favorite albums of the decade.

  6. 6 Caesar
    January 5, 2010 at 7:15 am

    It's funny how something so beautiful (For Emma, Forever Ago) was the result of something which tore Justin Vernon apart.

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