Justin Vernon’s band emerged in the immediate aftermath of Feist’s “1234” success, at a moment when indie rock was getting cozier and more accessible with each passing year.

After Feist and peers like Iron & Wine, Cat Power, and José González nudged indie toward a tasteful soft-rock palette, Vernon grabbed the baton and plunged the genre into realms that challenged notions of taste entirely.

He, too, veered away from the style that made him famous — in his case, the stubbly and celestial folk-rock of For Emma, Forever Ago — but he did so in ever more ostentatious fashion, his music growing bigger and more fractured along with his audience.
-CHRIS DEVILLE, Stereogun