So it’s a little early to pick my favourite artist of 2011 but the leading candidate has to be Bon Iver. This folk rock band from Wisconsin was founded in 2007 by singer-songwriter Justin Vernon. It’s hard to describe how incredible Vernon’s voice truly is. To me, it’s one of those voices that transcends time and could sound just as beautiful singing any genre of music. Luckily for us I feel that Justin has found a way to make Bon Iver sound incredibly unique. One of the most fascinating things I’ve come across when exploring Bon Iver was something that Vernon used to do during their earliest shows. Bon Iver has been made up of a lot of moving different parts over the years to accompany Justin’s voice and vision, but in the early stages Justin would only have a few people on stage with him. The problem was that in his head he envisioned the harmonies being sung by up to 500 singers in order to achieve the exact sound he was aspiring for. In an attempt to try and get as close to achieving this as possible, before his shows he would type out the lyrics to every song and walk through the audience handing everyone his sheet music so that they could sing with him during the show. He said “I don’t want to be that guy on stage alone with a guitar, its boring!” If that doesn’t give you a glimpse into the mind of a true artist and how dedicated they are to their craft and to their sound then I don’t know what could. I was fortunate enough to get to see Bon Iver live this past September and I can’t begin to tell you how absolutely amazing it was. I’ve been to more shows then I could ever possibly count and have become somewhat jaded in the fact that I rarely go to a show that I’m completely blown away. Bon Iver did just that! At one point in the show the nine or ten people accompanying Justin left the stage and it went dark. Suddenly a glimmer of light from behind Justin appeared showing him standing there alone without an instrument in almost an angelic state. He began to sing acapella and a sense of stillness spread through the crowd. No one could take their eyes off him while he stood there and belted out some of the most enchanting vocals I’ve ever heard. It was almost as if someone took over your entire body and all these emotions you had never felt were flowing through you. Mind you this lasted about 3 minutes or so and at the end the entire 6,000 plus Shrine Auditorium stood on their feet and gave the longest standing ovation I’ve ever been a part of. You couldn’t help but have tears come to your eyes it was that emotional and that phenomenal. I was speechless after and no other artist has ever made me feel that way. I’ve featured quite a few videos for you to begin your own discovery into Bon Iver. Enjoy!