"Holocene" (CD Single)

Music review by
Stephanie Bruzzese, Common Sense Media
"Holocene" (CD Single) Music Poster Image
One f-bomb in pensive, Grammy-nominated indie track.

Parents say

age 15+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 1 review

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this music.

Positive Messages

Nothing clearly positive or negative, just a realistic perspective on being human ("And at once I knew I was not magnificent").

Positive Role Models & Representations

No role models; lyrics simply describe memories of times past.


One use of "f--k."

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

The vague lyric "smoked the screen" could be a reference to smoking marijuana.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that "Holocene" is a clean single in the way that most alternative songs are: it contains very little profanity (just one "f--k"), only one very muted reference to what may or may not be marijuana, and no graphic descriptions of either sex or violence. While the lyrics have a slightly obscure, melancholy feel ("And at once I knew I was not magnificent") that may go over the heads of younger ears, the track is an overall OK choice for older tweens and teens.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bykick01 April 2, 2015

Why o why do they need to use the F*** bomb?

Beautiful music from a gifted group that want to tear you out of a nice groove with a lousy "f bomb" right in the 1st chorus. Dude, what's the po... Continue reading
Parent Written byKennyLogginsFan October 19, 2012

Bone-err Iver

When you write "f--k", we all know what it means. We all read and interpret the word as the swear. The two words are virtually the same. Why bother? S... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written bymatchfire February 2, 2012

Deserves a Grammy

An amazing track by an absolutely amazing artist.
There is one f-word, but it is used honestly and geniunely, not for the sake of simply saying it.

What's the story?

\"HOLOCENE\" is the Grammy-nominated single from alternative darling Bon Iver (a.k.a. Justin Vernon). The brooding song, which describes memories of times past and ruminations on life, includes only a brief few paragraphs-worth of lyrics, most of which are clean yet obscure in that alt-rock way.

Is it any good?

Hauntingly beautiful acoustic and slide guitar thread throughout this indie track. Bon Iver's high, airy tones are an ideal complement to this arrangement, lending an ethereal quality to the entire song.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what Bon Iver may have meant by the line "And at once I knew I was not magnificent." Does this line strike you as a mature outlook on the limits of being human, or a lack of self-confidence? Why?

  • Are you surprised that this relatively-unknown artist received a Grammy nomination? How does being nominated for or winning a major award change a musician's career?

Music details

  • Artist: Bon Iver
  • Release date: June 6, 2011
  • Type: Single
  • Label: Jagjaguwar
  • Genre: Indie Rock
  • Parental advisory: No
  • Edited version available: No
  • Last updated: November 11, 2020

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