Bon Iver + Edward Blake: Three Reasons Their Collab is Terrible, and Three Reasons It's Amazing

Bon Iver + Edward Blake: Three Reasons Their Collab is Terrible, and Three Reasons It's Amazing

One of the bigger topics on Wednesday's music blogs was the recent collab between folkie Bon Iver and British electro-centric producer James Blake. Stereogum mentioned the BBC  played a track yesterday featuring the duo which was later posted on YouTube by Blake himself. 

The song, "Fall Creek Boys Choir," sports a simultaneously bizarre and compelling arrangement with qualities reminiscent of a car crash--horribly disturbing, but too mesmerizing to turn away from. 

Eschewing standard pop folk song structure, it would seem Iver's primary contribution to the jam is his voice, which is drenched in Auto Tune. His angelic timber is set above ominous, disharmonious dial-tone synths accompanied by what sounds like a Brazilian cuica. This gives way to ephemeral bursts of R & B grooviness.

Listen to it yourself, and let us give you three reasons why this song is terrible, and kind of amazing at the same time:

1. Auto-Tune 

Con: Besides the fact that the pitch-correcting technology has been overused by everyone from Kanye to countless YouTube "auteurs" Justin Vernon's voice doesn't need correcting.

Pro: Hearing the venerable folkie sing like a robotic Stevie Wonder is deliciously ironic.

2. Disharmony

Con: The synths are intentionally unnerving. Like a dialone on your landline, (you may ask, what's a land line? in which case you are probably 15 years old), the tones emitted by the instruments in this song replicate the interfering frequencies of a telephone. Spooky.

Pro: Are these guys, with their unconventional song structure and odd use of instruments like Cuicas, going to give Radiohead a run for their money?

3. Cliche duo

Con: With so many dynamic duos springing up in recent years (Gnarls Barkley, Broken Bells, etc.) the hype is sometime eclipsed by the reality. This jam with all of its ambiguity doesn't really tell what's in store with the forthcoming material.

Pro: Judging by the compelling nature of this song, the forthcoming material, if there is any, could be stellar. Stay tuned.

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