Also on today’s plan is this 7k easy drill run to begin getting ‘ol Thunder n’ Lightning back to the business at hand of kicking ass. It’s only more drills and more easy running but at least it’s currently 4°C outside so, yeah, I don’t really have any excuse and may as well enjoy it while it lasts. My running album to day is ‘For Emma, Forever Ago‘ by Bon Iver.
Bon Iver (actually pronounced “bohn eevair; French for “good winter” and spelled wrong deliberately) is the work of Justin Vernon. He isolated himself in a remote cabin in Wisconsin for almost four months, writing, and recording the songs on ‘For Emma, Forever Ago‘, his haunting debut album. A few parts (horns, drums, and backing vocals) were added in a North Carolina studio, but for the majority of the time it’s just Vernon, his utterly disarming voice, and his enchanting songs.
The voice is the first thing you notice. Vernon’s falsetto soars like a hawk and when he adds harmonies and massed backing vocals, it can truly be breathtaking. ‘The Wolves (Acts I & II)‘ truly shows what Vernon can do as he croons, swoops, and cajoles his way through an erratic and enchanting melody like Marvin Gaye after a couple trips to the backyard still. ‘Skinny Love‘ shows more of his range as he climbs down from the heights of falsetto and shouts out the angry and heartachey words quite convincingly. Framing his voice are suitably subdued arrangements built around acoustic guitars and filled out with subtle electric guitars, the occasional light drums, and slide guitar.
Vernon has a steady grasp of dynamics too; the ebb and flow of ‘Creature Fear‘ is powerfully dramatic and when the chorus hits it’s hard not to be swept away by the flood of tattered emotion. Almost every song has a moment where the emotion peaks and hearts begin to weaken and bend: the beauty of that voice is what pulls you through every time. ‘For Emma‘ captures the sound of broken and quiet isolation, wraps it in a beautiful package, and delivers it to your door with a beating, bruised heart.
So, yeah, mellow mournful songs on an otherwise gorgeous day of easy-does-it running. By “easy-does-it” I mean 3 sets of 1.5k building into a somewhat quicker pace than I typically do on my easy runs in order to “test” out how ‘ol Lightning feels. So far, so good. So, yeah, maybe not the best choice of motivation tunage but I guess if I’m not suffering through fast intervals I may as well be unconsciously suffering through sad, heartfelt tunes right?