Watch Justin Vernon Perform a New Bon Iver Song in Richmond
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.