Justin Vernon's 5 Best Collaborations
    • FRIDAY, MARCH 22, 2013

    • Posted by: Matt Howard

    For many musicians, spending years creating and playing music under a single identity can really wear at one's artistic juices. In recent years, we've seen a rising number of artists breaking genre barriers to collaborate with those on the opposing side to work their creative muscles. Think of it this way -- if you are, or ever were a gym-goer, would you only work out your upper bod? No way because you'd look like a top-heavy fool.

    A prominent artist who carries a svelte creative figure is Bon Iver's Justin Vernon. The guy seems to have friends in all corners of the music industry. So much so that the phrase "ft. Justin Vernon" might as well be an industry auto-fill. We decided to compact the Wisconsinite's collaborations into a shortlist of our favorites.

    As recently as yesterday (that's 3/21/13 for those of you in the future), Vernon doled out a collab-cover of Fink's "Warm Shadow" with bass sax phenom Colin Stetson - a partnership we should have all seen coming. It has an eerie TV on the Radio vibe, wouldn't ya say?

    A particular favorite of ours is Vernon's assistance on "How We Land", a monumental track from the 2012 P.O.S. LP We Don't Even Live Here. JV howls in hard around 2:30.

    Whoever introduced Vernon to U.K. music experimentalist James Blake is worthy of a medal, or at least a big high-five.

    Undoubtedly the most well-recognized of all his collab projects is Justin Vernon's glittery moans on Kanye West's "Lost In The World".

    Probably one of his earliest group projects came in the form of Volcano Choir, where he and the Bon Iver crew joined forces with fellow Wisconsinites to release the atmospheric and ethereal LP Unmap back in 2009. Woah, this song sounds a bit familiar, doesn't it (see Kanye collab above)?

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