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For Emma, Forever Ago

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iTunes Review

Partially recorded at a cabin in the Wisconsin woods, there’s a tangible sense of wintry isolation in songwriter Justin Vernon’s gorgeous debut as Bon Iver. The rawness of For Emma, Forever Ago—often stitched together with little more than Vernon's layered falsetto, low-fi acoustic guitars, and creaking ambience—gives it a chilling, love-at-first-listen power. And while tracks like “Skinny Love” and the “For Emma” are standalone highlights in their own right, the album’s seamless tour of heartache is greater than the sum of its parts.

Customer Reviews


I never review albums, ever. However, For Emma, Forever Ago is one of the most beautiful collections of songs that I have ever heard. There is no "filler," there are no prosaic lyrics, and there is no song-to-song repetition whatsoever. Each track has a powerful message to send, and the quiet yet haunting background melodies highlight the artist's vocals with stunning efficacy. If you want to know what true love sounds like, give this album a listen.


Really love this, best of his work, so melodic and catchy. Esp Skinny Love.

Stunningly Poetic

My friend actually introduced me to this album, and I'll have to say I was skeptical at first. The lyrics didn't seem to make sense and it was a lot different from the genre that I normally listened to at the time. However, actually giving the album a good listen, I was sent into pure shock. The lyrics are poetic and beautiful, the music goes with it well, and it tells the story of haunted pasts and people. To me, it is truly beautiful. Justin Vernon has true musical talent. I will never forget this album as one that has serenaded my high school career with its soft melodies.


Formed: 2007 in Eau Claire, WI

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Appearing seemingly out of nowhere, Bon Iver's debut album, For Emma, Forever Ago, became one of the landmark albums of the late-2000s indie folk sound. Singer/songwriter Justin Vernon's spare sound and pure vocals caught the attention of people looking for something folky, yet not folksy in any way. Further albums refining and shifting their sound bolstered the band's popularity and widened their fan base, earning them a famous fan (and future collaborator) in Kanye West. Justin Vernon began recording...
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