Bon Iver is an American indie folk band from Eau Claire, Wisconsin, founded in 2006 by singer-songwriter Justin Vernon. The name of the band is often mispronounced, with many people saying “Bone Eye-ver” instead of the correct pronunciation, “Bon Ee-vair.” This article will provide an overview of the band’s history and music, as well as a guide on Bon Iver pronunciation.
In the late 00s, Justin Vernon retreated to his father’s log cabin in Wisconsin, asked a friend to drop round some of his instruments and a few recording mics and three months later, recorded and self-released one of the most iconic Acoustic Folk albums of the contemporary era. Emma Forever Ago rose to critical acclaim due to Vernon’s extremely stripped-back and earnest approach to songwriting and recording. Here’s an insight into how he did it, so you too can follow his techniques for recording and releasing independently.
Bon Iver Pronunciation
The name Bon Iver pronunciation is based on the French phrase “bon hiver,” meaning “good winter.” Songwriter, singer, and founding member Justin Vernon explained the name in an interview with Pitchfork: When he was living up north he wrote a letter.
To add to the creative concept of his new album folklore, Justin Vernon wore a mask while recording his part remotely due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The mask could have been both a safety precaution and an artistic choice to add more muffles to his vocals.
The correct way for Bon Iver pronunciation…
Often with songwriting, an artist’s best work is created when they really don’t intend on writing an album filled with chart-topping tracks. In Bon Iver’s case, the split of his previous band of childhood friends, a relationship breakdown and a bout of tuberculosis, were the factors culminating in Vernon’s decision to retreat to the mountains to recover mentally and physically.
As advice for unsigned, independent songwriters, it would be pretty foolish for me to say ‘get ill, get heartbroken and go retreat to the countryside and write emotive songs’ just like Bon; however, this approach to songwriting genuinely tends to separate those artists who are more successful from those who aren’t. Taking more time with your songwriting and only writing when you feel like it will improve your creative flow.
If you’re trying to give yourself a day to complete a song and suffer from writer’s block, you’ll only end up straining yourself to come up with something that probably won’t be that great. A natural process will have a more positive impact on your songwriting. Going away to a different location has proven to work for a lot of songwriters in the industry- even if the intention of the trip is to come back with a complete album.
Perhaps give yourself a break from the routine of your life so you get time to reflect on your experiences because if you’re still leading a busy life, this could saturate your ideas for songs.
The minimalist approach to recording
The recording and production of this album were very essential and organic. Recorded inside Vernon’s father’s log cabin using an old model Macintosh and ProTools LE; Vernon had no luxuries of a professional recording studio funded by a major label. The stripped-back and fundamental DIY approach really worked for the theme behind the tracks on the album.
This is a good idea for upcoming independent singer-songwriters. In order to create synergy with the mood of your track, think about the production and the way it’s recorded. If an acoustic guitar sounds perfect for your track with just a mic on the 12th fret, then there’s nothing to say that can’t go on the final recording.
Whilst sound quality is so vital to success in this day and age, if the instrument sounds right for the mood of the track without a lot of post-production or effects, then by all means, keep that raw, slightly imperfect feel. If you are struggling with recording, check out our Music Production Blog Series.
Bon Iver is an American folk band from Eau Claire, Wisconsin, founded in 2007 by singer-songwriter Justin Vernon. The band has received widespread critical acclaim, with their debut album For Emma, Forever Ago being named the 8th best album of the decade by Rolling Stone magazine.
Bon Iver’s breakthrough album was their self-titled album, released in 2011. The album received critical acclaim and was a commercial success, earning the band two Grammy Awards for Best New Artist and Best Alternative Music Album. It featured the hit single “Holocene” which peaked at number nine on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. It also featured other fan favourites such as “Calgary,” “Beth/Rest,” and “Skinny Love.”
Awards and Accolades
MTV Video Music Awards:
– 2012: Best Cinematography (“Holocene”)
– 2012: International Breakthrough Act
Polaris Music Prize:
– 2011: Shortlisted (Bon Iver, Bon Iver)
American Music Awards:
– 2012: Favorite Alternative Artist
– 2011: Best International Band
Shortlist Music Prize:
– 2008: Shortlisted (For Emma, Forever Ago)
Synergy and artist branding
Everything on For Emma, Forever Ago, from the album sleeve to the track titles creates a really strong sense of Bon Iver. The album feels like a complete work in which you can picture Vernon’s creative expression behind the song creation. The decision to have a snowy, peaceful forest surrounding the log cabin is the perfect visual representation.
It’s important to think about your imagery and branding as an upcoming independent artist. Having your sound and image sorted before you release anything anywhere will give you more credibility as an artist. Audiences will then have a clearer sense of your identity. Giving audiences an identity is paramount to building a fanbase because you are creating a direct bond with your fans.
If the images connected to your work don’t accurately represent or synthesise with your sound, this will only confuse audiences. It might even cause them to lose interest in you as they have nothing concrete to invest in.
Bon Iver tour
Bon Iver is currently on an indefinite hiatus, so there are no tour or Bon Iver setlist dates scheduled at this time. However, the band does occasionally perform select shows. Fans should keep an eye on their official website for any updates.
In the past, Bon Iver has toured extensively throughout the United States, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. The band has also made appearances at major music festivals such as Coachella, Glastonbury, and Lollapalooza.
When Bon Iver does a tour, tickets can be purchased through their official website or through third-party vendors such as Ticketmaster.
Our top Bon Iver songs:
Bon Iver Skinny Love
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Bon Iver Holocene
Rosyln Bon Iver
For Emma Bon Iver
Bon Iver has collaborated with a number of artists, including James Blake, The National, St. Vincent, Bruce Hornsby, Justin Vernon (of Volcano Choir), Sharon Van Etten, Taylor Swift, Sean Carey, Aaron Dessner and many others.
Bon Iver is a unique and innovative band with a sound that is both distinctive and timeless. With a name that is both meaningful and difficult to pronounce, Bon Iver has become one of the most beloved indie bands of the 21st century. With their unique blend of folk, hip-hop, and electronic music, Bon Iver has created a sound that is both accessible and original.
Whether you’ve been a fan for years or you’re just discovering them now, Bon Iver is sure to be a band that you’ll never forget. And now that you know how to pronounce their name, you can enjoy their music with an even greater appreciation.