Watch Justin Vernon Perform a New Bon Iver Song in Richmond

Justin Vernon of Bon Iver performs at Eaux Claires Music Festival on Aug. 12, 2016.

Justin Vernon of Bon Iver performs at Eaux Claires Music Festival on Aug. 12, 2016.

During a Bon Iver show in Richmond, Virginia, last night, Justin Vernon closed on an unexpected note, performing a brand new song alone at the keyboard. Vernon explained to the audience that the song was “not even quite done, but I just want to play it for y’all,” before banging out a series of mournful chords on the keyboard on one of his beloved Bruce-Hornsby-and-’80s-Steve-Winwood-esque patches. There’s a glaring line about having a “bad toke,” but perhaps just as distracting were the vocal triplets in the chorus, “I can hear, I can hear, I can hear crying,” which, in a 2017 context, means that Justin Vernon is doing the Migos flow.

The as-of-yet untitled song seems like a fairly logical extension of Vernon’s more verbose, herky-jerky approach to lyrics and melodic structure on last fall’s 22, A Million. We’ll see how this one (“Toking and Crying,” perhaps?) shakes out when he puts a band behind it, if he chooses to do so.

This article was originally published by Spin.


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