Bon Iver and director Nabil Elderkin (who’s worked with Kanye West, Frank Ocean, Common) selected Iceland’s glacial landscapes to visually showcase the second single from “Bon Iver,” titled “Holocene.” Watch below.
The video begins with a blonde boy waking up, pulling a sweater over his head and longingly gazing out his bedroom window like one of painter Caspar David Friedrich’s contemplative figures. The whole thing seems to have come right out of the pages of Maurice Sendak’s “Where The Wild Things Are,” except unlike Max, the video’s protagonist is all alone in this Icelandic world without the company of Carol and K.W.
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Equipped with just a walking stick, the boy marches out of his grass cave as Justin Vernon’s hauntingly earnest words, “And at once I knew, I was not magnificent” match the simple yet breathtaking shots of infinite clouded skies and hills surrounding him.
Vernon’s “Holocene” lyrics explore the notion that the self is just a part of something much, much greater — an idea that director Elderkin highlights the heart of the song by focusing on the expansive glacial landscapes that seem to dwarf the wide-eyed boy.
Bon Iver is set to drop a 12-inch including “Holocene” and a Peter Gabriel early next month, according to Stereogum.