8 - Bon Iver – For Emma, Forever Ago

For Emma, Forever Ago opened up a lullaby world for Last.fm listeners, the album's nine tracks conjuring a wintry landscape of lost love and reflection. The product of three months in a secluded cabin in Wisconsin, Justin Vernon's solo debut was born from the break up of a relationship and of his previous band DeYarmond Edison, as well as a liver infection. Understandably the album became something of an exorcism for the songwriter.

Seeped in overdubs and subtle doubling of tracks, it is often easy to forget that For Emma, Forever Ago was recorded alone in the woods. Some of the tracks have a choral quality that puts listeners in mind of three or four voices coming through the speakers, the harmonies often emphasising how close to broken Vernon sometimes sounds.

“Skinny Love” has been a Last.fm listener favourite for months, and it's not surprising: scratchy throated and urgent, Vernon's cries are at their most powerful on the track while the guitars are at their catchiest. As the Festive season creeps closer listeners have returned to Bon Iver, the perfect soundtrack to colder, darker nights.

Play Bon Iver Next on Last.fm Best Of 2008 Which band, in at number 7, were too good for TV on the Radio?