Monday Feature: Letter to Justin Vernon

This week’s Monday Feature is dedicated to none other than Justin Vernon. You may recognize him as the lead vocalist of Bon Iver, but this week’s guest blogger Natanya begs that he is so much more in the letter below.

Dear Justin Vernon,

Thank you. In the world of hipsters-pretending-not-to-be-hipsters, you have emerged from the musical underground onto some of the most prominent stages. I know that more than one woman out in the world has written you gushing love letters professing all the many reasons that you absolutely must father her children and sing them lullabies every night. I understand that you are a hot commodity. Therefore I will make no such demands, but rather write you this simple love letter as a student guest blogger on just another American college campus.

I don’t know how you do it. Your music sends me to the northwoods of Wisconsin, sipping a Spotted Cow while roasting my dinner over a campfire. Simultaneously, it accompanies me as I pour over my chemistry and physiology textbooks. How is it that a man so humble has produced music which so versatilely adapts to every moment of my life?

I developed a true appreciation for your music when a dear friend sent me the Bon Iver album For Emma, Forever Ago. This album, which now has close to 150 plays in my music library, is quite possibly the best album ever produced. Your lyrics are poetic, yet catchy. The instrumentals are daring and different. And, to top it all off, your vocals are captivating.

These qualities emanate from all of your music. Some of my favorite songs include the sultry “Easy (Hazeltons)” and the strong and sexy “I Can’t Make You Love Me/Nick of Time (Calgary),” both of which exemplify your great diversity and musical talent.

With every new verse I find myself wondering how you view life and love. In turn, I look introspectively. You use music in its most raw and intentional form – a method to delivering your thoughts and ideas to the world.

My true love for your music was reaffirmed on Saturday night, December 10, 2011. I was standing about eight rows from the stage at the Orpheum Theater in Madison. I know that the concert was packed but, between us, I know you were singing just for me. In the span of about an hour and a half, I laughed, cried (yes, this is true), and was transported to another world.

My test for the quality of a musician is two-fold. First, a truly talented musician is better in concert than recorded. Second, a concert-goer must not only be able to see the passion a musician puts into his music, but also the joy he himself receives.

You pass this test with flying colors.

I hope that someday I will have the opportunity to meet you or, at the very least, to complete my growing collection of your LPs.

On behalf of those who love music, beards, plaid, Wisconsin, and everything beautiful, I again thank you.

With love,



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