by Julia Hennock in New Music on Saturday 12 April 2008

When this scruffy fellow opens his gob, something high and mighty emanates. His music is great for long drives, in cold places and long nights in warm places. We speak of Bon Iver, who we interviewed recently. No frills, just acoustics and gentle melodies. Your music is beautiful. Yet there’s a dark undercurrent to it, in the minor key chord changes in particular. Is there really such thing as a good happy song? ‘I think there is joy in a sad song: the alleviation. The pain being instantaneously discovered, and pushed out. It gives a sense of welling up. I think the firing in the brain for emotions, all happen in pathways nearby, or the same tracks or something, because they seem so eerily similar’. ‘Good Winter': does this speak for your appreciation of the colder climes? Or is it a passing reference to one winter in particular? ‘It’s more about the sacred quality of winter for me, in general. Every season, every first snow. Every center of winter’. I like the double tracked vocals on the album — very John Lennony. Is it hard to get that falsetto up there without it? ‘The double vocals were a way to mask ego, I think, on the record and the vocals. I could be expressive without being so obtuse’. If you were to play us a cover song right now, on your acoustic, what would it be and could we sing backing vocals? ‘Umbrella, by Rhiana or Bleeding Love, by Leonna Lewis. You pick. I would love to have a choir behind me’.