Since his debut For Emma, Forever Ago (2008) Bon Iver has built up a status of one of the most characteristic artists of the world alternative. The project, led by Justin Vernon, has already won two Grammy Awards, and in 2020 it was nominated in three categories, – including best album – for I, I.
The first album, recorded in a winter cottage in the outskirts of Wisconsin, was an honest and very raw production, in which only Vernon was involved. The simple folk songs of the lonely and experienced boy in their original form were only embossed in 500 copies. However, they reached the right audience and soon the first reviews appeared on blogs, and the independent label Jagjaguwar released the album without any changes in early 2008. Bon Iver was quickly hailed as a revelation, becoming a favourite with the alternative scene and journalists. On the anniversary of his debut, Bon Iver released Blood Bank EP with the recording of Woods, whose samples were used by Kanye West in the song Lost In The World. Vernon appeared in two recordings on My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy and performed alongside West during a memorable concert at the Coachella Festival. The event took place just two months before the release of the second, named Bon Iver album, which took the project to a whole new level of popularity.
The fans had to wait 5 years for the next album. By that time Bon Iver was already shrouded in the aura of cult and long ago it stopped being a folk project. No wonder that 22, A Million (2016) brought even more experimentation with electronics and hip-hop, and from the whole thing, there was an unstoppable need for musical development, which was appreciated by fans and critics. The album was praised at Rolling Stone, The Independent or NME, and Pitchfork gave the label a 9/10 rating. After another few years of break, Bon Iver returned in 2019 with a well received I, I. The release took first place among the best folk and indie albums in the USA and was on the podium in the best rock and alternative albums lists of last year (Billboard).