“Skinny Love” is one of those songs that lingers around in time, not feeling like it’s from a particular year or even a specific artist. Originally released in 2008 as Bon Iver’s lead single from their debut album For Emma, Forever Ago, “Skinny Love” has become not only a staple in the indie folk genre but also a staple in cover artists discographies as well. The song went on to become certified Platinum in the United States and is still regarded as one of the best songs from that year and the 2010s decade.
This live performance of the song only features lead singer Justin Vernon with an acoustic guitar and is easily one of the most intriguing versions of this song that I’ve found on the internet. Firstly, upon my initial listen of the song I didn’t actually believe his voice sounded like that. I expected there to be multiple singers or pitched and edited vocals. But no, this performance proves that this is indeed Justin Vernon’s singing voice. The way he effortlessly moves up and down and left and right throughout all sorts of ranges and notes is incredible, especially during a live show. Secondly, the way he plays the guitar is equally as impressive. This song almost sounds as if it needed at least two acoustic guitars together to give it a full sound effect but Vernon gets the job done with one, and makes it look astonishingly simple while doing so. This live version of the song demonstrates how easy and intricate music can be at the same time, while clearly demonstrating the talent and ambition Vernon has as an artist.