Credit: D.L. Anderson
You may know him as the unlikeliest collaborator on Kanye West's magnum opus My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, but Bon Iver, né Justin Vernon, sounds quite beautiful on his own. His 2007 release For Emma, Forever Ago, transported him from his family cabin in northwestern Wisconsin (where he mourned his recent breakup, recorded, and presumably grew that magnificent beard) to full-on indie-rock stardom. Since then, his quavering falsetto, lush compositions and strange, poetic lyrics (one song is about the death of Heath Ledger) have earned him his place in popular culture. See, buddy? Everything happens for a reason, re: that breakup.
Now he's back with a self-titled sophomore effort, and the video for his first single, "Calgary," is nothing short of spectacular. In the Andre Durand- and Dan Huiting-directed clip, a girl (who is possibly made of light?) falls through her forest bed into a surreal swamp world, where she meets a ruggedly handsome forest dude. They walk through the woods together, meet some other forest people, get married (I think?) and set the river on fire. Also, there's a two-legged bear(?!?!) It's all very symbolic. All this dreamy imagery is a perfect match for the song, which uses analog synths and Vernon's angelic voice to transport listeners to another plane of existence. Get lost in it.
+ Watch Bon Iver's "Calgary" video and stream Bon Iver's new album in its entirety below.