I am stunned. I truly am.
I began watching this video under the impression that I’d quickly bookmark it in favour of sleep. It’s now 3.30am, and I watched the whole damn thing.
This is real art. This is two people sitting down at a couple of pianos, making music that speaks to the heart. Music that makes you feel something. Justin Vernon and Sean Carey reinterpret these Bon Iver songs (and a Bonnie Raitt cover) with such poise and artistry – in such a genuine manner – that it’s impossible to not be captivated by their performance.
I don’t care how many generalisations I’m about to make – no matter what I say, there will always be an exception and someone to argue it. But it doesn’t matter how many “fans” any superficial dance-floor “Yeah-I’m-out-getting-smashed-off-my-face-and-trying-to-have-sex-with-everyone” popstar has. It really doesn’t. It’s one thing to make people dance and give in to basic primal urges, but it’s another thing entirely to make people feel. It’s another thing to stir emotions so complex and diverse, so powerful and evocative, that no two people ever respond in quite the same way. Which is why artists like Bon Iver, who can do just that, will always be valued – even if it may not be by the majority. This music will mean much, much more, to Bon Iver’s fans, than any of that other music ever will. Because at the end of the day, this is music that makes a real connection. It speaks to something more lasting in all of us.
Do yourself a favour. Shut out any distractions, dim the lights, and spend 25 minutes watching this. You won’t regret it.
1. Hinnom, TX
3. I Can’t Make You Love Me