Watch Justin Vernon Perform a New Bon Iver Song in Richmond

performs on the Coachella Stage during day 2 of the 2017 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival (Weekend 2) at the Empire Polo Club on April 22, 2017 in Indio, California.

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.



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