The Spinners

Blood Bank (Bon Iver, 2009)

In EPs, Folk, Indie American, Indie Rock, Richard Bolisay on January 8, 2010 at 4:31 pm

Bits of Emma left, fragments of her that did not make it in Bon Iver’s first cry-out, here in Blood Bank he puts in, like a postscript of a message as important as the script itself, only short and precise. The fascination with the cold is still strong, hence the cover, the words, the voice, the stubble one imagines in Justin Vernon’s face when he sings with his eyes closed, the breath of wind that provides a chilly atmosphere. The first three tracks are like B-sides of Emma—the falsettos, the intimacy, the lingering tone of isolation and dejection—and the hypnotic piano in “Babys” sucks all the heat up. After the third track, I thought, “Shit, this guy hasn’t moved on yet. He’s still wallowing.” But then “Woods” silently enters with the disconcerting sound of the Auto-tune, folk Justin sounds possessed by T-Pain, and I realize I thought wrong. He’s certainly doing his best.

– Richard Bolisay

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