Justin Vernon

Singer / Bandleader

Born: 30 April 1981
Birthplace: Eau Claire, Wisconsin
Best known as:

The indie musician behind the band Bon Iver

Justin Vernon is the creator of Bon Iver, the indie music project which won him a Grammy as best new artist in 2012. Bon Iver is called a band, though it's mainly the alter ego of Vernon: he writes, performs and records most parts of the band's albums himself, but in live shows he is joined by other musicians. Justin Vernon grew up in Eau Clair, Wisconsin, and played with the folk band DeYarmond Edison from 2002 through 2006. That year he broke up with the band and his girlfriend, got mononucleosis, and retreated to a hunting cabin in Wisconsin, where he wrote and recorded the songs that became the first Bon Iver album, For Emma, Forever Ago. (The name Bon Iver is derived from bon hiver, the French term for "good winter.") The album featured Vernon's soulful falsetto and multilayered vocals, which became a Bon Iver signature. At first self-published by Vernon, then released on the Jagjaguwar label, For Emma, Forever Ago earned major buzz and put Bon Iver on the indie-music map. As described by the New Jersey Star-Ledger, the album "set the template for the modern sensitive male singer-songwriter: meditative and in passionate love with echo, rustic, but not shy about using electronics." His next album, Bon Iver (2011), won four Grammy nominations, with Bon Iver taking home Grammys for best new artist and best alternative album. 

Extra credit:

The name DeYarmond Edison came from Vernon's middle names… After Vernon left the band DeYarmond Edison, the remaining members -- Joe Westerlund and the brothers Brad and Phil Cook -- formed the band Megafaun.

 

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