Bon Iver took the Best New Artist Award at the Grammy Awards last night, heralding an outcry of confused Tweets and Facebook statuses over the news as folk struggled to comprehend the origin of a group who were so obscure back in 2008 that their debut album 'For Emma, Forever Ago' reached a mere 64 on the US Billboard Charts on its way to struggling to over 400,000 copies sold in the US, just about earning them enough to buy a ferry ticket over to the UK to perform on the second stage of the throwaway boutique, 177,000 capacity festival, Glastonbury. Look, we're being sarcastic - surely everyone and their Great Uncles knew that Justin Vernon had weepily trudged into the Wisconsin woods to blub his heart out over a lost love.
So here's a few facts about Vernon and his group Bon Iver, for those somehow uninitiated. (1) As you might've surmised already, Bon Iver aren't exactly "new." 'Bon Iver,' released last year, was the group's second album, the group forming in 2007 and releasing 'For Emma, Forever Ago' the following year. (2) That LP focused on the break-up of a relationship involving the group's front man Justin Vernon, written when the musician had disappeared into the woods in Wisconsin to spend the winter at his father's log cabin. Initially planning on merely getting some peace of mind, Vernon came back the next Spring with a set of songs that'd go on to be known the world over - which is useful if you've just spent a winter without a job. (3) The LP went on to sit rather high up the American charts; it fell just outside the UK Top 40 but live Vernon and co. seemed to flourish over there with several notable festival appearances and constant radio airplay and press coverage. (4) Vernon may be unknown to regular shmoes like you, but notoriously ahead-of-the-curve Kanye West is nothing short of an aficionado on the downbeat folkie troubadour, so much so that Vernon guested on Ye's seminal album 'My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy,' appearing on the track 'Lost In The World' in 2010. How underground! (5) Bon Iver's second album was released last summer and was, admittedly, somewhat larger than its predecessor, hitting Number Two in the US Billboards and also reaching the Top Five in the UK. (6) Should you be out on the street looking for Vernon, keep your eyes out for down-on-his-luck looking chap with a rugged beard and a plaid shirt - possibly with a boot mark on the spot which covers his heart - and a faraway look in his eyes that suggests pain beyond the measure that even us mere mortals can comprehend. And for crying out loud don't try and comprehend it; heartbreak, as 'For Emma, Forever Ago' may or may not have told us, should never be contemplated unless living alone in the woods using bark for toilet roll and surviving on a diet of pine cones and small woodland creatures.
Although one of these facts may be slightly exaggerated, the rest can all be found on a Tumblr which was set up by those equally incredulous at the general public's confusion at who the band were. Next year; Lana Del Rey takes the New Music Award to nonplussed looks. Probably.