‘For Emma’ is the first official single to be taken from the widely acclaimed debut album For Emma, Forever Ago.
It has been an incredible journey for Bon Iver, who first started when Justin Vernon went out to ‘the cabin’ in Wisconsin in late-2006 to clear his head but came back with an unexpected masterpiece.
‘For Emma’ is the title track of said album and goes some way to explain the inspiration for Vernon’s catharsis. The song is written in the form of a play, using dialogue as lyrics in its depiction of a relationship break up; “go find another lover, to bring a... to string along”. Conversely, it is the most upbeat track from the album and the only track to feature a horn section (provided by Boston and Minneapolis musicians John DeHaven and Randy Pingrey). These were added at a later date.
The B-side for this release is rounded out with the majestic ambience of exclusive track, ‘Wisconsin’. It happens to be the penultimate track from the Emma sessions, but could never be seen as a makeweight. It proves to be an outstanding bonus that sits firmly within his small but perfectly formed canon.