Bon Iver – “One Hit Wonder?”

If you haven’t already gotten sick of hearing about all of the Bon Iver backlash just yet, I have a few thoughts for you today.  Looking back at the individuals who have won Best New Artist over the past few years, it would seem most of them have become semi-successful in most of their careers.  I’m not really entirely certain if last years winner, Esperanza Spalding, is considered currently still successful or not; however, the Zac Brown Band, Adele, Amy Winehouse, Carrie Underwood, and Maroon 5 seem to still be enjoying the spotlight. Well maybe not Amy Winehouse.  Anyway, I was wondering if most normal people will consider Bon Iver a flash in the pan years down the road, or if he will find himself back at the Grammys sometime in the future.  Of course, some of us knew about Bon Iver before he created one of the funnier mass confusion moments at this year’s Grammys, but will he end up on a VH1 countdown with Right Said Fred?

For those of us who knew Bon Iver, i.e. Justin Vernon, before he made a “splash” at the Grammys, we found it funny that he was even up for an award declaring him best new artist.  Justin Vernon released his actual first album, “For Emma, Forever Ago”, back in 2008.  He also released an EP, “Blood Bank”, back in 2009.  So technically, he shouldn’t have even been eligible for this award.  But, a lot of people only just became exposed to his existence.  I did a little research, and Vernon experienced over a 100% increase in his sales following his win at the Grammys.  Therefore, it sounds like he could be experiencing a little bit more popularity.  Vernon even made it into a sketch on SNL this past week.  Justin Timberlake impersonates Vernon singing to Jay-z and Beyonce’s baby.  If you can manage to find the video, you definitely need to watch it.  Youtube isn’t giving me a good video of it to put up on here.

If you were paying attention to the various internet sites that would report on Bon Iver, you saw that he released a little 25 minute internet video last week.  In the video he performs with Sean Carey, supporting player in Bon Iver, some of the songs off “Blood Bank” and “Bon Iver” using only two grand pianos.  Having watched it all the way through, I really enjoy it a lot, but I’m not sure it will continue to win him any fans.  However, if you watched Vernon’s acceptance speech, I really doubt that’s why he put it out. He knows who helped put him on the map, and he knows who he makes music for.  Bon Iver may not make it back onto the Grammys ever again, but I think this video helps to show that he isn’t going to change.  He will continue to make music his way, and if the masses enjoy it, all the better.


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