I first heard Bon Iver's album "For Emma, Forever Ago" this winter and it's been on repeat on my iPod ever since.
Singer / songwriter Justin Vernon, reeling and aimless from the breakup of his band and relationship, moved to his father's cabin in the remote Wisconsin wilderness to spend the winter there in "hibernation". From this true solitude - days filled with chopping wood, watching the sun rise and set, and cooking and eating simple meals - emerged an incredibly real, humble, and touching album, striking in its wholeness. Listening to this brings to mind - almost tangibly - the sound of a crackling fire, the smell of ice and snow, the bite of winter wind outside; it is an entire world unto itself.
The name Bon Iver comes from the French phrase for "good winter" - bon hiver.
I so admire the courage it takes to do this - reduce one's daily existence to such basic elements, and translate that into pure creativity.