I’ve been boring all and sundry with my glowing appraisals of possibly my favourite long player of the year: Bon Iver’s For Emma, Forever Ago. Bon Iver is really Justin Vernon, a former member of DeYarmond Edison – yes, never heard of them either – who, it seems, took himself away to an isolated cabin in the cold wilds of Wisconsin for a few months, cut logs, killed deer to feed himself, brooded aplenty and emerged from the winterland hinterland with this delightful series of hauntingly beautiful numbers. I keep returning to this recording; breathy, brittle vocals express, albeit via somewhat obtuse and complex imagery, rather dark and emotional intimacies over the most delicate and warm acoustic playin’. The melodies build, soar, bewitch and, mark my words, get under your skin. The journey through this album is a tad bleak but well worth the effort; a dozen or so plays and it seems like an old friend, thoughtful and intelligent, uplifting and life-affirming. I recommend.