Jul 02, 2021
By Mark Redfern
Photography by Graham Tolbert and James Reynolds
Big Red Machine (aka Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon and The National’s Aaron Dessner) are releasing a new album, How Long Do You Think It’s Gonna Last?, on August 27 via 37d03d. Now they have shared the album’s third single, “Renegade,” which features guest vocals from Taylor Swift, who also features in the song’s video. It’s the album’s third single and the third single from the band in the last four days. Watch the video below.
Dessner, who worked on Swift’s 2020 albums Folklore and Evermore, had this to say about the song in a press release: “While we were making Folklore and Evermore last year, Taylor and I sometimes talked about experimenting and writing songs together some day for Big Red Machine. Making music with your friends just to make it—that’s how Big Red Machine started and has grown—and that’s how ‘Renegade’ came about too. This song was something we wrote after we finished Evermore and it dawned on us that this was a BRM song. Taylor’s words hit me so hard when I heard her first voice memo and still do, every time. Justin lifted the song further into the heavens, and my brother [Bryce Dessner]‘s strings and drummer Jason Treuting add so much. The feeling and sound of this song feel very much at the heart of How Long Do You Think It’s Gonna Last? I’m so grateful to Taylor for continuing to share her incredible talent with me and that we are still finding excuses to make music together.”
On Tuesday Big Red Machine shared the album’s first single, “Latter Days,” which features guest vocals from Anaïs Mitchell. On Wednesday the band shared its second single, “The Ghost of Cincinnati,” which features lead vocals by Dessner. The album also features Fleet Foxes, Sharon Van Etten, This Is the Kit, and others.
How Long Do You Think It’s Gonna Last? is the follow-up to their 2018-released self-titled debut album. Dessner produced the album and it was recorded at his Long Pond studio in Upper Hudson Valley, NY.
Dessner, who sings lead vocals for the first time on three tracks on the album, had this to say about it in a previous press release: “This is all music I initially generated and feel emotionally connected to, but it has been very interesting to hear how different people relate to it and how different voices collide with it. That’s what makes it special. With everyone that’s on this record, there’s an openness, a creative generosity and an emotional quality that connects it all together.”