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Five new songs that show Bon Iver’s magnificent, post-rock influence

Justin-Vernon_post

How influential has Justin Vernon been the past five years?

He put Bon Iver on the backburner after exhaustively touring the group’s second record, but you can’t say the guy hasn’t been busy. Volcano Choir has helped us look inward while touring on Repave, while also getting back to blues roots with The Shouting Matches. Vernon curated a stems remix project with Spotify, sponsored whiskey and is now working with James Blake and of course, Kanye West.

Also in the last five years, Vernon’s influence has spread amongst popular and indie music alike. His hallmark vocal sound mixes falsetto with bass-oscilated auto-tone, all while multi-tracking. It’s a synthetic process that somehow instills auditory pleasure that feels organic.

Consider these five new songs if you’re a fan of Vernon.


Coldplay

1. Coldplay – “Midnight”

Coldplay’s new record Ghost Stories has the obvious radio single that won’t be going away anytime soon in “Magic”, along with the Avicii-assisted radio banger “A Sky Full of Stars”. But “Midnight” was the first song Coldplay chose to release in promoting their return to action.

Many were quick to point out that it sounds just like Bon Iver, and they are pretty much right. Martin’s auto-tuned vocals are slightly multi-tracked, and they soar out into the cheesy cosmos like only Coldplay could do. Imitation is the ultimate source of flattery, right? This song, more than any other, has been the centerpiece of divisiveness in criticizing Coldplay’s latest effort, one that favors wallowing over love instead of the usual stadium anthems.

In the end, this song delivers, minimalist design and all.


James-Vincent-McMorrow

2. James Vincent McMorrow – “Cavalier”

“I remember my first love…”, a line of reflective emotion that sticks to the mind like no other this year. Why? Because his voice. Meet the best song of 2014 that is getting no attention. By the time the wave of horns join McMorrow in his magnificent introspection mid-way through, the instrumental stylings of Bon Iver begin to bubble up. But pay no mind to this as a possible copycat scenario – just check out James Vincent McMorrow’s Post Tropical inspiration to see for yourself.


Ben_Khan

3. Ben Khan – “Youth”

First the synth hits, then the wailing guitar takes over, as if calling out to the distance. Then Ben Khan announces himself with cooing ease, and the vocal reverb and tone of Vernon starts to sound familiar. Wait for it….BAM! The song takes off with a screech-blast à la Solange’s “Losing You” combined with the ca-ching! from M.I.A.’s “Paper Planes” mixed in with a barrage of pleasurable sounds. Ben Khan’s four-track LP 1992 is out now, but the real question is, what’s next?


S.-Carey

4. S. Carey – “Fire-scene”

This pick is a tad obvious, since Sean Carey is actually in Bon Iver as a percussionist and singer. He’s an integral part of the group, and he’s reemerged on his own this year with his new record, Range of Light. But for fans of Bon Iver, look toward “Fire-scene” to get a sense of what S. Carey has to offer. Sure, the video for the song even looks like the breathtaking short for “Holocene“, and his song-stucture sounds straight out of Eau Claire, but his lyrics are more direct. All that said, Carey shows why he deserves solo attention with his remarkable debut.


Daugher

5. Daughter“Smother”

Vernon’s influence has impacted beyond the dudes, as is seen with Daughter. She put her spin on “Perth” last year for BBC Radio, mashing it with Hot Chip’s “Ready for the Floor. Since then the impact of the aught’s favorite post-rock behemoth can be heard in Daughters’ original material, especially with “Smother”, off of If You Leave. If you’re a fan of Bon Iver, you likely will dig Daughter too.

What other new songs or artists remind you of Justin Vernon/Bon Iver? Let us know, or call us out…We’ll keep adding good songs to the playlist as long as you’ve got em.

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Comments

  1. I love the song “stay gold” by first aid kit. The girls really nailed the harmonies on that track. Also “there’s no leaving now” and “like the wheel” by the tallest man on earth. For some reason, like the wheel always gave me a nostalgic feeling.

  2. yatharthvibhakar says:
  3. i love this! always looking for new music so thank you so much for sharing awesome stuff!

  4. Are Birdy and Daughter the same singer?

  5. Loving the ben khan EP!

let's hear it!

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