What a year it’s been for Bon Iver, the indie folk band fronted by founder Justin Vernon, with its fellow members Sean Carey and Matthew McCaughan. Since the 2007 release of their debut album, For Emma, Forever Ago, Bon Iver has been capturing the hearts of fans around the world. When they released their latest self-titled album on June 21, 2011 they couldn’t possibly have predicted the explosive praise and adoration that was headed their way. On November 30, the band earned four nominations for the 54th Grammy Awards: Best New Artist, Best Alternative Music Album, Record Of The Year, and Song of the Year for the amazingness that is “Holocene”. And the accolades continue to pour in: this morning Pitchfork released their highly prized ranking of the Top 50 Albums of 2011, and Bon Iver came out on top. No argument here whatsoever.
The album was recorded in a remodeled veterinarian clinic in Fall Creek, Wisconsin, which was bought by Vernon and his brother in 2008. It was converted into April Base Studios, built mainly over the defunct swimming pool attached to the clinic. Vernon’s reason for recording in the location was that “[it’s] been a wonderful freedom, working in a place we built. It’s also only three miles from the house I grew up in, and just ten minutes from the bar where my parents met.” Ironically, the name Bon Iver is derived from the French phrase “bon hiver”, meaning “good winter”. It’s safe to save the band is having one of the best winters of their lives.
Rounding out Pitchfork’s Top 50 albums is Destroyer’s Kaputt coming in at #2, M83’s Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming coming in at #3, Real Estate’s Days coming in at #9 (WOO HOO!!!), and James Blake’s self-titled album coming in at #11. You can check out the full list of the lucky 50 by visiting Pitchfork. And a big congratulicious to all the artists for what must be said was one hell of an amazing year for music. Let’s hope 2012 has some greatness in store for us as well.