Bon Iver, Grammy's Best New Artist, was a popular topic among Twitter, Tumblr and beyond after Sunday's show. The search frenzy has sparked a comparison to last year's Grammy winners Arcade Fire, who were also relatively unknown in the mainstream world at the time of their win. (PHOTO: REUTERS / Lucy Nicholson; Mario Anzuoni).
Is it possible that after two studio albums (and one EP), nearly six years of professional play, critical acclaim from major music publications, a collaboration with Kanye West and a slew of tours and festivals, that you still inspire a post-Grammy Tumblr page and a Twitter frenzy about who you are?
Yes. If your band's name is Bon Iver.
The page is no accident. In fact, it inspired by the Tumblr page Who is Arcade Fire? created moments after the Canadian band won the 2011 Grammy for Album of the Year.
Like Arcade Fire, Bon Iver was relatively unknown in the mainstream music world (even with the Kanye West connection) until those Grammy nominations came along.
Nominated for four categories, Bon Iver took home Best New Artist and Best Alternative Music Album on Sunday night.
Most of us know who they are. This blog is about the people who don't, reads the intro to who-is-bon-iver.tumblr.com, which consists mainly of Twitter posts in response to Bon Iver's Grammy wins.
The Twitter equivalent, @whoisboniver, already has more than 340 followers, all basking in the hilarity in reading Twitter posts like the following:
My mom just youtubed Bon Iver cuz we don't' know who he is. Just heard her say 'He has a s--t ton of views! Like wtf! Who is this a--hole? (@StatusBuzz)
So, mainly Adele and @FooFighters were successful this year, but then we have .. Bon Iver, who ever that is, for best alternative & new artist (@TijmenHelder)
Who the heck is Bon Iver? He sucks & is so awkward! @NICKIMINAJ should've got best new artist! I've never heard of Bon Iver!! (@Walkprice11)
In brief, Bon Iver is a folk band led by Justin Vernon, a 30-year-old singer-songwriter from Wisconsin (yes, there are other members). In 2008, the band's debut album, For Emma, Forever Ago, received a wide release and landed on several critics' lists, including The New York Times, Pitchfork and Rolling Stone. The album's biggest -- and perhaps the most familiar -- hit to date remains Skinny Love (click here for a refresher).
Last June, Bon Iver released a self-titled second studio album, made up of 10 tracks, including a Heath Ledger-inspired song, Perth. The album, which debuted at number 2 on the US Billboard 200 chart, has sold more than 350,000 copies in the country since its release. In December, Pitchfork named Bon Iver the number one album of 2011.
Bon Iver's Grammy win for Best New Artist was a surprise to many, and perhaps most of all to Vernon, who accepted the hardware from presenters Tony Bennett and Carrie Underwood.
It's really hard to accept this award . . . when I started to make songs I did it for the inherent reward of making songs, so I'm a little uncomfortable up here, Vernon said, as the CBS cameras panned to looks of confusion among the crowd.
Vernon went on to give shout outs to his fellow nominees (which included Nicki Minaj, Skrillez, J. Cole and The Band Perry), the non-nominees, the voters and the city of Eau Claire, Wi.
Bon Iver is scheduled to play at the International Arts Festival in New Zealand for two nights Feb. 27-28, before continuing in Australia and the US (stops include two weekends at Coachella and the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival).
Scroll down for the music video for Perth.