Bon Iver aka Justin Vernon went on a journey into the woods and came out with a spectacular album. For three months he lived alone in a cabin in the Wisconsin woods and began writing songs. These songs were recorded upon his return home and became For Emma, Forever Ago. This amazing album was released in the UK in 2008 and was rated album of the year on Metacritic.

The aim of Vernon’s journey was to get over a break up with his girlfriend and band and simply just be, but going into the woods to find oneself is a long standing tradition. There is a beauty in stripping down all the extraneous factors of life, if only for a little while, to get back to what is real and important. Henry Thoreau details the joys of self-exile in his revolutionary Walden, coming up with gems such as, ‘let us first be as simple and well as Nature ourselves, dispel the clouds which hang over our brows, and take up a little life into our pores. Do not stay to be an overseer of the poor, but endeavour to become one of the worthies of the world.’ and ‘I went to the woods because I wanted to live deliberately, I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life.’

For Emma, Forever Ago is a heartfelt ode to his ex, but Vernon also makes it a celebration of humanity. I love it. Recently a new Kanye West track titled Lost in the World leaked online, which features a sample of Bon Iver’s song Woods. It seems talent recognises talent and maybe they can create something beautiful together.