1. For Emma, Forever Ago
  2. Bon Iver
  3. By Justin Vernon
  4. I recognize they are not novels by the traditionally understood (see: actual) definition
  5. And I recognize they are two of the "beginner" indie albums out there
  6. But perhaps they are for a reason.
  7. Perhaps these albums encapsulate the narrative power of contemporary musical production. How
  8. Recording equipment
  9. Instrumental diversity
  10. Editing software
  11. Nonconventional song structure
  12. Interpretive lyrics
  13. & vision
  14. Can converge to deliver an experience.
  15. A storytelling experience which leaves traditional methods démodé.
  16. Not to diminish the contributions other artists/bands have had on my formative musical understanding,
  17. but something about these two outputs
  18. is inescapable.
  19. They're altogether shapable and unshapable
  20. Finite landscapes infinitely open to individual meaningful associations
  21. Artfully crafted by Vernon, a 21st century Tolkien
  22. For Emma is a natural Hobbit analogue
  23. Simpler, pastoral, restrained but heartfelt
  24. Bon Iver amplifies the setting to a Lord of Rings scale
  25. Sweeping, challenging, intricate and dangerous
  26. Cinematic
  27. And both deserve to be consumed in their uninterrupted, collector-edition beginning to end totality
  28. If these two albums can inspire within me a wandering monologue
  29. Then I know they have earned the title
  30. of
  31. Novel