There is something sublime about Justin Vernon’s music. It’s the delicacy, I believe. And I need delicate right now. Vernon’s wistful falsetto, the gentleness of the brushed drums, the quietness of the guitar arpeggios. “Holocene” is a bar in Portland, Oregon where Vernon stated he had ” a dark night of the soul”, and as someone well acquainted with the dark nights of the soul, the song speaks deeply. Even if it hung purely on the first line of the chorus- “And at once I knew I was not magnificent”- it says more about the hours I spend staring at the ceiling better than most songs. The hints of being lost and hopeless in an icy landscape weave through the song’s lyrics, though honestly I couldn’t really tell you what Vernon was thinking. I just understand the feeling.
There are few songs I love more than “Holocene”. It’s sadness and loneliness define my spirit. And so it goes, as Vonnegut would say.
Thankfully, it’s such a beautiful song. The beauty makes the feeling it gives almost bearable.