Christmas night, it clutched the light, the hallow bright
Above my brother, I and tangled spines
We smoked the screen to make it what it was to be
Now to know it my memory:

from Bon Iver – Holocene Lyrics on Rap Genius

Meaning

This whole stanza alludes to discovering that Christmas isn’t real, he is spying on his brother Christmas Night and tried to find out what it really was.

It’s about a change through periods of time, childhood to adulthood. I think Justin just used Holocene as a symbol for the period of his life when he became self- conscious of his place.

Before Justin played Holocene in Toronto, he explained the song was about “going out and smoking a joint with your brother on Christmas.” This verse in particular directly relates to that theme.

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