Some could argue that Justin Vernon is the hardest-working man in the music industry. Others could argue, who is Vernon?
For those who are not fans, yet, Vernon is the front man of the band Bon Iver. Still don’t know who he is? Take a listen to “Skinny Love” or “Holocene,” and maybe it will ring a bell.
Vernon has been a part of a plethora of music projects including Bon Iver, DeYarmond Edison, Volcano Choir, Gayngs, along with many others.
Now Vernon has a new band in the works, The Shouting Matches, who just released its first album.
The album combines a folky blues sound that takes you straight back to the ‘70s.
Taking cues from Creedence Clearwater Revival, The Allman Brothers and other such groups from the decade, it clearly shows from where the group’s inspiration came.
Not many bands can do this. The only one that comes to mind is The Black Keys.
Before The Shouting Matches, Vernon’s prior project, Bon Iver, had just earned the award for Best New Artist at the 2012 Grammy Awards.
But a few short months later, Vernon decided to quit that project and move on to greener pastures.
Back in September 2012, Vernon told the Minnesota Public Radio host, David Campbell, that he wanted to start winding down with Bon Iver.
“I look at it like a faucet,” he said. “I have to turn it off and walk away from it because so much of how that music comes together is subconscious or discovering. There’s so much attention on the band, it can be distracting at times. I really feel the need to walk away from it while I still care about it. And then if I come back to it – if at all – I’ll feel better about it and be renewed or something to do that.”
The Shouting Matches is a stark difference from his previous band, Bon Iver.
Bon Iver’s sound was very quiet and also very different from what is on the radio today.
He sang in a high-pitched tone not many men can accomplish. But now, with The Shouting Matches’ first album, “Grownass Man,” Vernon utilizes his voice to make it more raspy and natural.
The best song off the album is the first, “Avery Hill.” So right off the bat I liked the album, which is not too shabby of a start.
The album is only 36-minutes long, but the band uses that time to successfully complete what sounds like a garage band jam session.
Other bands should take note. This is how you make a record. This is how you make music.
Review by Savannah Sawyer, Features Editor.