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  • Vasili Papathanasopoulos


Their new album How Long Do You Think It’s Gonna Last? is out later this month!

Image: Graham Tolbert

Big Red Machine have offered up the fourth taste of their forthcoming record, How Long Do You Think It’s Gonna Last?, teaming up with Ilsey on Mimi.

Speaking of the track, Aaron Dessner shares: I named this song Mimi for my youngest daughter...I was thinking about how grateful I am for my children and how they light up even the darkest days. Justin, Ilsey and I wrote words and melodies to this in isolation and we decided to interweave them, like characters in a book, full of longing and gratitude. Later James Krivchenia came to visit and brought the song further to life with his drums. Musically I feel like maybe we were seeking the open air and road of a Tom Petty song, just accidentally in an odd meter. So grateful to Ilsey for joining this collaboration -- it felt so natural and joyful.”

Ilsey adds: “This song is almost a mirror to the process of how we made it. Aaron, Justin and I wrote and recorded all of the parts separately.” Isley said, “The lyrics of the chorus reflect a longing for closeness and connection, but that longing is made to feel safe and less pained next to Justin and Aaron’s lyrics which have this strong theme of gratitude. All of this to say, what could have been a lonely chorus was made hopeful, and what could have been a lonely process was made joyful in getting to work with these two wonderful people.”

The ever-morphing musical project of Dessner (The National) and Justin Vernon, How Long Do You Think It’s Gonna Last? was produced by Dessner at his Long Pond studio in upstate New York. Due out this August, the record features a bevy of exciting collaborations, including two tracks with global-superstar, Taylor Swift. Dessner and Swift collaborated on the chart-toppers two critically acclaimed records folklore and evermore, with the former taking out Album of the Year at the 2020 GRAMMY Awards. Each record also featured a collaborations with Justin Vernon, marking the start of a thrilling creative relationship. Of the two tracks, Birch and Renegade, the latter was recorded in Los Angeles at the Kitty Committee studio whilst in town for the 2020 GRAMMY Awards

Other songs feature guest vocals and writing contributions from artist friends including Ben Howard and This Is The Kit on June’s a River, Naeem on Easy to Sabotage, Sharon Van Etten, and Lisa Hannigan and My Brightest Diamond’s Shara Nova on Hutch, a song inspired by Dessner’s late friend, Frightened Rabbit frontman Scott Hutchison.

How Long Do You Think It’s Gonna Last? is out August 27. Listen to Mimi below.


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