Justin Vernon (Bon Iver) and Aaron Dessner (The National) have announced a new project from their band, Big Red Machine. Their second album, titled How Long Do You Think It’s Gonna Last?, is due August 27 and features collaborations with Taylor Swift, Fleet Foxes' Robin Pecknold, Sharon Van Etten, Anaïs Mitchell, and more.
Taylor Swift will be featured on the tracks "Birch" and "Renegade." Both Vernon and Dessner worked with Swift on her Grammy-winning album folklore and follow-up evermore. According to a press release, "Renegade" was recorded at Swift’s Kitty Committee Studio in Los Angeles in March 2021, the same week Swift and Dessner won the 2021 Grammy for Album of the Year. “Renegade” also features orchestration from Dessner’s twin brother Bryce.
Observant Big Red Machine fans realized there would be a Taylor collaboration on How Long Do You Think It's Gonna Last? when the band posted a teaser to social media with the album's title handwritten across the screen. Fans noticed the words were in Taylor's handwriting. Swift's participation was confirmed when Vernon played one of the album's new songs featuring Swift over livestream. A subsequent teaser of Swift looking backwards in a grassy field was uploaded.
Big Red Machine has just released their first single off the new album, "Latter Days," which features Anaïs Mitchell.
“It was clear to Anaïs that the early sketch Justin and I made of ‘Latter Days’ was about childhood, or loss of innocence and nostalgia for a time before you’ve grown into adulthood—before you’ve hurt people or lost people and made mistakes,” Dessner said in a statement. “She defined the whole record when she sang that, as these same themes kept appearing again and again.”
Since releasing Big Red Machine's self-titled album in 2018, Aaron Dessner and Justin Vernon have teamed up with R.E.M.’s Michael Stipe for the track “No Time for Love Like Now.” They've also covered Aimee Mann’s “Wise Up,” and released the single "A Crime" with Sharon Van Etten.
Listen to "Latter Days" below.
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