Four and a half stars
Bon Iver’s debut is a bleeding raw confessional of an album. All the myths of the outsider masterpiece are true in the case of For Emma, Forever Ago: It was recorded in a cabin; it was never meant to be heard; it’s hopelessly barefaced and personal; and, best of all, it sounds just as staggeringly unique and desolate as Leonard Cohen’s debut record. Strange and ghostly, look for this left-field folk album to turn up on a lot of year-end lists come December.
Early Iron & Wine, Sun Kil Moon