Wow. Jimmy Fallon has been killing it lately with his choice of guests and performers. This past weekend Fleet Foxes performed a track off of Helplessness Blues, and last night Bon Iver came on the show with a medley of Bonnie Raitt tracks “I Can’t Make You Love Me” and “Nick of Time,” along with a little bit of “A Song For You” by Donny Hathaway.
The appearance was to promote Bon Iver’s new self-titled album Bon Iver (coming out June 21), but Fallon also wanted to clarify some of the mythology behind the recording of Bon Iver’s first album, For Emma, Forever Ago. “You lost your mind, and you recorded yourself losing your mind,” Fallon asked and/or told Justin Vernon about his reclusive time working on the album in a Wisconsin cabin. “The story has sort of manifested into something different, so let’s just keep that as the truth,” Vernon replied, all bashful smiles. “It’s a little simpler than that.”
As for the performance itself, with just a piano as instrumental back-up, Vernon delivered pure, concentrated soul. Vernon has the unique ability to perform like he’s singing to just one person—so even singing for an audience of strangers, Vernon sounds like his life and his love depended on it. Easy to picture him singing this medley to some special girl, holding a boombox underneath her window. Swoon. Check it out for yourself, along with the interview below.