Bon Iver’s Single ‘PDLIF’ Amplifies Good

Bon Iver's newest single 'PDLIF' or 'Please Don't Live in Fear' delivers a message of reassurance in uncertain times. Photo Courtesy of @boniver

Photo By @boniver

Bon Iver’s newest single ‘PDLIF’ or ‘Please Don’t Live in Fear’ delivers a message of reassurance in uncertain times. Photo Courtesy of @boniver

By Catharine Li, Arts & Entertainment Editor

In wake of the recent uncertain times, indie folk band Bon Iver’s newest single titled PDLIF, or Please Don’t Live in Fear is the latest addition to the outpouring of love to support global efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. All proceeds will go towards Direct Relief, a non-profit organization coordinating efforts to provide personal protective equipment and essential medical items to health workers on the frontlines. 

Lead singer-songwriter Justin Vernon and collaborators each contributed to the song in isolation, an approach that would ultimately lend to a greater message of togetherness. A sample from the tenor saxophone of English artist Alabaster DePlume’s Visit Croatia forms the instrumental background for the collaborative project, laying the foundation for a track of both sonic and lyrical depth. 

Vocalist Kacy Hill’s soprano is a polite interjection through the silky smoothness of instrumentalist Rob Moore’s string arrangement, an emphatic reminder that in such circumstances, it is critical to attend to the present and take care of yourself and others, as she sings “You know it never stays the same / And they will never tell you you’re all to blame.”

Three notes hint and build to a momentous, beautifully uplifting yet candid climax in which Vernon and Hill arrive to deliver a line of reassurance, “Well I’m not going to tell you that everyone’s safe / I will say / There will be a better day.” The come and go of layered but distinctly separate sounds are a welcome invitation to their individual idyllic worlds, creating a truly distinct soundscape that speaks to the very nature of the human experience: one that is unique and despite difference comes together in times of hardship.

Though the single is barely three minutes long, it proves to be a seamless and deeply intricate blend of tonal color, ushering listeners on a heartfelt and compelling journey from start to finish.

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