Bon Iver frontman Justin Vernon has become something of an indie icon in recent years. The winter spent in a log cabin in the woods to get over a break-up and the subsequent album that it spawned has become a bonafide music legend, accelerating Vernon from a struggling musician in Eau Claire, WI, to the Grammy Award Winner everyone knows and loves today. For Emma Forever Ago pulled on the heartstrings of a generation, and is the break-up album of the last decade.

What makes Vernon special, however, is not just the ability to express heartache in a way that no one else can, but his versatility. Vernon is a tireless worker and impressively prolific despite only two albums under the famous Bon Iver moniker. Long before he confined himself to the woods, Vernon wrote several solo albums under various names, along with two albums as part of the band DeYarmond Edison. From 2008 Justin participated in blues trio The Shouting Matches, whilst from 2009 he co-founded the experimental folk outfit Volcano Choir. Various collaborations and remixes have proved Vernon's adaptability to other people's work, notably with POLIÇA, the Chieftains and some unknown rapper from Chicago called Kanye West.

Below is a playlist of the most essential of Vernon's various projects and collaborations that you need in your life, and displays his undeniable talent as a songwriter, honesty as a vocalist and versatility as a musician.

JD Vernon - 'Trainyard Blues'

Written around the turn of the millennium, 'Trainyard Blues' is the standout from the Home Is album, recorded under the moniker JD Vernon. As one his earliest released works, the album is unsurprisingly more raw and unproduced than any of the later Bon Iver work. It's also the first time we see Vernon display his particular penchant for the blues, later taking band form in The Shouting Matches.

The Shouting Matches - 'I Had a Real Good Lover'

Just when you thought Vernon was all intimate acoustics and twinkling soundscapes, he goes and releases Grownass Man, a blues album recorded with Megafaun's Phil Cook and Peter Wolf Crier's Brian Moen - it turned out to be pretty good too. 'I Had a Real Good Lover' is not from that album but from the Mouthoil EP, which was recorded in 2008 but not released until 2013. Gone is the hard-to-decipher metaphor of Bon Iver, replaced instead with raw, literal emotion.

The Rosebuds - 'Get Up Get Out' (Justin Vernon Remix)

North Carolina duo The Rosebuds roped in Justin Vernon for this fabulous remix of their track 'Get Up Get Out', with J.V. laying his trademark coos over the record's acoustic riffs and reverb-laden piano. The band have recently released a new album, recorded in Vernon's studio in Wisconsin and featuring the main man on synths and guitar along with Bon Iver's Matt McCaughan on drums.

DeYarmond Edison - 'The Lake'

With its name taken from Vernon's two middle names, DeYarmod Edison consisted of various members of Megafaun, Field Report and Bon Iver before any of them existed. Unlike those later bands, DeYarmond crafted relatively radio-friendly folk-rock, best displayed on the optimistic sedative of 'The Lake'.

Justin Vernon - 'Song For a Lover of Long Ago'

If you spent your mid-teenage years weeping over 'Skinny Love', then 'Song for a Lover of Long Ago' will turn your face into a waterfall of emotion. Featured on the self-released 2006 solo album Hazletons, it sees Vernon at his most painfully distraught. If you're in that stage of struggling to get over someone where all you want to do is sit in your room and cry yourself to sleep, this is your soundtrack.

Volcano Choir - 'Still '

From Volcano Choir's debut record, 'Still' is effectively an alternate version of Bon Iver's 'Woods'. The distinctive autotuned hook was later made famous by one Kanye West on the track 'Lost in the World' featuring Vernon himself, but this take is the most esoteric and leftfield of the three different versions of the track.

Bon Iver - 'For Emma' (A cappella version)

Bon Iver has, whether for better or for worse, always been very Justin Vernon-centric. It's easy to forget what powerful voices other members of the band have, most notably Sean Carey. This A cappella version sees Carey and Vernon sing one of the highlights from For Emma Forever Ago in the lobby of a Paris apartment block. And it is stunning.

Bon Iver - 'I Can't Make You Love Me'

There are a fair few songs featuring J.V. on vocals that tug at the heartstrings, but this Bonnie Raitt cover wrenches them out of your throat. With simple piano and Vernon's voice nearly reaching the peak of his vocal register, this is as heart-breaking as it gets.

Bon Iver - 'Bruised Orange (Chain of Sorrow)'

This John Prine-cover featured on the B-side of the 'Towers' 12" back in 2011. Evoking images of harsh winters alongside cosy log-cabin warmth, it was a hark back to Vernon's more folk roots despite being released around the same time as the expansive multi-instrumental sophomore album, 'bon iver'.

Eau Claire Memorial Jazz I, Featuring Justin Vernon - 'Lump Sum'

This is a big band take on the previously-intimate Bon Iver track 'Lump Sum' - Vernon's vocals lent new life with lashings of trumpets and an impressive jazz flute solo that somehow works. Being one of two Bon Iver songs on the live album recorded with the Eau Claire Jazz Orchestra, the rest of the record sees J.V. channelling his inner-Frank Sinatra with a cover of 'The Lady is a Tramp', amongst other big band classics.

Gayngs - 'Faded High'

Vernon has a particular penchant for the larger band and Gayngs is no exception, consisting of over 22 musicians, including members of POLIÇA and Megafaun. As some Vernon-perves may have noticed, J.V. also has the bands distinctive logo tattooed on his arm; such is his love for the group.

POLIÇA - 'Tiff' (Feat. Justin Vernon)

Gayngs bandmate and POLIÇA front-woman Channy Leaneagh brought in Justin Vernon to lay down some backing vocals on the most haunting track of 2013's brilliant Shulamith album. The video is definitely NSFW but worth a watch, and witnesses Channy torturing her own doppelganger. Vernon's breathy croons add an extra shard of ice to the song's already spine-chilling nature.

Kanye West - 'I'm in It'

Kanye and Justin isn't exactly the first inter-genre collaboration that you might think likely, but after their work together on 'Lost in the World' the two sparked a fruitful relationship. Taken from Yeezus, 'I'm In It' features Vernon on backing vocals. Unsurprisingly, however, Vernon keeps away from the rather crude, very-Kanye lyrics regarding women's privates and sweet and sour sauce.