While I am in no way on the cutting edge here, I would be remiss if I did not talk about the incredible debut record, For Emma, Forever Ago, from Justin Vernon (under the pseudonym of Bon Iver). I've seen the name around for a while now, and the record came highly recommended by a friend. It is very seldom that my jaw drops for a debut album, but this is an exception. The album is like an affecting personal diary; sparsely recorded and arranged, it is both stunningly muted and at times gently raging. Do yourself a favor and take a listen if you haven't yet.
The Wolves (Act I and II)
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