June 18, 2018 / 11:10 PM

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Bon Iver Celebrates ‘For Emma, Forever Ago’ 10th Anniversary, Debuts Unreleased Song



It has been 10 years since the Grammy-winning American folk band Bon Iver released their groundbreaking debut album For Emma, Forever Ago

At a special anniversary concert in Milwaukee on Saturday night, Feb. 17, Justin Vernon, the band's vocalist and songwriter, performed "Skinny Love," "Blindsided," "Re: Stacks," and the rest of the tracks from the album. 

The band also debuted a new, never-been-heard song called "Hayward, MI" which, Vernon said, hails from the same era as For Emma, Forever Ago. The vocalist dedicated the song to the band's manager, Kyle Frenette, who is about to take a break from the music industry to pursue a career in politics. 

Forever Ago

More than a decade ago, Vernon, recovering from the collapse of a previous relationship and retreated into a cabin in the woods and armed with his acoustic guitar, wrote the songs that will be included in For Emma, Forever Ago.

"I was definitely down and pretty confused," he shared in a previous interview. "At 26, I was thinking about going back to school to be a music teacher. To me, that felt like giving up, even though I was excited about that prospect. There was a lot of despair. I had anxiety and depression for longer than I kind of knew about and I didn't really understand it back then."

Since then, the folk band has released some of the best albums of the last decade and Vernon has collaborated with an array of artists that include Kanye West and Nicki Minaj. Ten years later, the album endures. Last year, For Emma, Forever Ago crossed 1 million sales and has been certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America or RIAA. The album was also included on The Rolling Stone's 100 Best Albums of the 2000s. 

Bon Iver's Manager Running For Congress

Frenette, who has been the manager of the band since 2007, has not officially announced his campaign, but according to reports, he will be running for the Democratic nomination for Wisconsin's 7th Congressional district. The position is currently held by Representative Sean Duffy, a Republican. 

"This state and this country are in desperate need of better leadership," he wrote in an email. "I haven't officially announced yet but will be in the next two weeks."

A limited-edition re-release of For Emma, Forever Ago comes out this week on vinyl. The band is scheduled to perform at Bonnaroo and Firefly later this year. 

Watch Bon Iver perform "Hayward, MI" below.


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