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Blood Bank [Vinyl] [Single]

Bon Iver Vinyl
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)

Price: $11.98 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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MP3 Music, 4 Songs, 2009 $3.96  
Audio CD, Single, 2009 $11.29  
Vinyl, Single, 2009 $11.98  

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Frequently Bought Together

Blood Bank [Vinyl] + For Emma, Forever Ago [Vinyl] + Bon Iver
Price for all three: $43.80

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Product Details

  • Vinyl (January 20, 2009)
  • Original Release Date: 2008
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Single
  • Label: Jagjaguwar
  • ASIN: B001MDIA5G
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,572 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Blood Bank
2. Beach Baby
3. Babys
4. Woods

Editorial Reviews

This four-song collection continues down the path forged by 2008's critically acclaimed "For Emma, Forever Ago". Bon Iver's snow-blanketed harmonies live across the seasons. As much as "Emma" is about the cold, "Blood Bank" is about the warmth that gets you through it. Both expansive and intimate, these songs explore the darker and lighter natures of the seasons and what they signify, and offer a glimpse into the natural energy and refined craftsmanship that characterize Justin Vernon's music.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
(18)
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
39 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A stunner! January 21, 2009
Format:Audio CD
Bon Iver (essentially Justin Vernon and a couple of bandmates) burst out of the frozen Wisconsin north woods in 2007 with "For Emma, Forever Ago" - a record of quiet, contemplative and deeply felt songs triggered by the ending of several relationships, both personal and professional. Vernon took advantage of his months of isolation to craft a set of emotionally direct songs that sometimes employed rather oblique lyrics, and his not-for-everybody falsetto singing was said to be either enchanting (most critics) or off-putting (many music fans).

But as word spread about "Emma" and Bon Iver played more and more live shows (even turning up on late night TV on rare ocassions) his fan base grew, and an increasing number of online reviews labeled "Emma" an emotional masterpiece.

If you're new to this artist, you should probably begin with "Emma" to get a sense of his unique style. Fans of that record, however, will find much to love on "Blood Bank," which contains several tunes written and/or recorded around the same time period. The title cut is especially strong, with sharp lyrics and strong guitar work.

The first three songs could easily be outtakes from "Emma," and all are easily the equal of anything found on that record. It's the final cut, "Woods" that is the wild card, and the one that is likely to sharply divide dedicated Bon Iver fans. Making use of the Auto-tune technology currently in vogue among hip-hop artists like L'il Wayne and Kanye West, Vernon electronically distorts his vocals to the point where he sounds almost machine-like.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Soulful January 20, 2009
Format:Audio CD
This EP is a good sign for people who liked Bon Iver's first album. The tunes are soulful and share similar aspects to the LP: the falsetto voice layered multiple times, the trance-like repetition that builds to an emotional release, the cryptic lyrics.

There is also experimentation. "Blood Bank," is recognizably written for a full band. "Beach Baby," uses a slide guitar solo. "Babys" uses piano, one note repeated for tension. He uses a similar technique with his voice and guitar, but the piano adds a new tone. But these are small experiments.

The big surprise comes with "Woods," when he uses vocoder. This song needed to go last, because I don't know what you could put after it. In the beginning the vocals are high in the mix, but as the song progresses the same repeated lines are sung in different ways and recorded differently, some with harmony, some distantly reverbed; it all creates a huge emotional space. My favorite part is when he strains the heights of his register. Amazing.
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15 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
First, let me say the songs are good - the title track is very good. But I just cannot get over the pricing on this one. You can buy the full album (cd), For Emma Forever Ago for $10.99 and this FOUR (4) yes, FOUR!!! song EP costs $10.98. Am I the only one who thinks this is absurd?
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Grey harmony for the heart January 21, 2009
Format:Audio CD
How to describe the music of Justin Vernon? The concept is not new--talented guy, sort of lo-fi recording set up, guitar. Nothing new. Yet, somehow, this guy coaxes austere majesty from nothingness. If you are interested in the EP, then you probably already have For Emma, Forever Ago. Clearly, that is the place to start for Bon Iver. It is a nearly perfect album, stark and haunting in its bleakness.

But lets assume you already know that. What about this EP, Blood Bank? Well, if you were hoping for something new, you're gonna get it. If you were hoping for more of the same, you're gonna get that too. And I mean both of those things in the best possible way. Justin's guitar playing remains hypnotic, a drone pushed to the background on which he layers vocal track after vocal track. These multitracked wonders of harmony and, if not dissonance, then perhaps near harmony are a big part of what make him so special. He uses his full range, including a very interesting falsetto, throughout each of his songs, creating an insular and fascinating sound world. Lyrics float in and out of the haze, struggling to be understood. The words are important, but not as important as the raw feeling that you get from the sounds.

The title track is the one that a lot of folks have heard--it is beautiful and perhaps the most similar to the first album. But from there, things start to grow and change. "Babys" features a repeated piano figure instead of a guitar drone, and it is definitely a little bit of a surprise, but as always, the bleakness and grandiosity both somehow get to you. How can so much music fit into so little tune? Yet this music is not without melody--melody just reveals itself slowly, much like the pleasure of listening to this disc.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning Musical Experience January 24, 2010
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This is original and fabulous. A sound designer, enraptured with the quality of the mix, gave it to me, and I have bought two since then for gifts. My husband and I listen to it most days, and do not get tired of it, because it has such richness and depth. It's an amazing experience with headphones, but is also pleasant to play during dinner or conversation, because it can be enjoyed on levels. The hooks are catchy enough to give you an instant buy into the sound, but they aren't obnoxious or overbearing over time. This is my favorite new music this year.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Like most things Justin Vernon does, this is very good.
Published 1 month ago by Zachary Shelton
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic album!
One of my favorite EPs ever. It is an essential for any indie music lover. Don't forget their other albums!
Published 7 months ago by Andrew
5.0 out of 5 stars Love love love Justin Vernon
I understand not everyone may love this cd or Bon Iver in general, but all I have to say is see him in concert, set close to the stage, get sucked in... the music is wonderful! Read more
Published 15 months ago by Desiree L Mancha
5.0 out of 5 stars Blood Bank
Love it have it in my Itunes and on CD ~ If you haven't listened to Bon Iver please do you will become a fan!
Published 20 months ago by T. Pometta
5.0 out of 5 stars Great few pieces of music.
This album is very fresh even though it's been out for a while. 4 songs and I can't help but keep from replaying it again and again. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Greg Frantz
3.0 out of 5 stars Gift for a friend
My complaint is my own fault... I didn't realize that it only had 4 songs on the vinyl when I purchased it. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Alli Browning
5.0 out of 5 stars Only four tracks, but worth it
I didn't realize this was only a 4-track release, but it was worth it. I'm a fan of his second release (Bon Iver), and this was comparable in many ways. Refreshing.
Published 21 months ago by Amy S. Burritt
5.0 out of 5 stars Great
I got this record for my boyfriend as a Christmas present, and it sounds amazing. I am very pleased with my purchase.
Published 22 months ago by Liz
3.0 out of 5 stars Bon Iver experiments
Bon Iver's debut album took the indie world by storm in 2008, and this EP bridges the gap until his next album. Read more
Published on March 4, 2010 by J. Pratty
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Follow Up EP
Listening to "Blood Bank" is very much like reading an appendix to Bon Iver's "For Emma...Forever Ago". Read more
Published on November 23, 2009 by Jacob Harrington
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