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  • Vasili Papathanasopoulos


The track is the first of two collaborations with the global superstar, taken from the duos forthcoming record How Long Do You Think It’s Gonna Last?

Image: Graham Tolbert

Earlier this week, Big Red Machine made their return with the announcement of their sophomore record, How Long Do You Think It’s Gonna Last? and a brand new track. Today, the duo have unveiled the first of two collaborations with global superstar Taylor Swift, Renegade.

Complete with vivid lyricism and Swift’s trademark knack for storytelling, the introspective track tells the tale of an unbalanced relationship, with Swift singing “Is it insensitive for me to say / get your shit together so I can love you”. Built upon acoustic based sonics, Swift and Vernon's vocals float above warm and evocative soundscapes that stir emotion.

Speaking of the collaboration, Swift shared: "I can’t believe I get to work with Aaron Dessner When Aaron came into my life, I was ushered into his world of free-flowing creativity where you don’t overthink, you just make music. His generosity of spirit and humility bleeds into every part of his life, and that’s why so many artists have jumped at the chance to be a part of his collaborative project, Big Red Machine."

The ever-morphing musical project of Aaron Dessner’s (The National) and Justin Vernon, Big Red Machine and Swift's collaboration arrives after 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

“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." says Dessner. "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.”

How Long Do You Think It’s Gonna Last? was produced by Dessner at his Long Pond studio in upstate New York. The record is comprised of a variety feature guest vocals and writing contributions, including Anaïs Mitchell on Latter Days, Fleet Foxes’ Robin Pecknold on Phoenix, Ben Howard and This Is The Kit on June’s a River, Naeem on Easy to Sabotage, Sharon Van Etten, Lisa Hannigan and My Brightest Diamond’s Shara Nova on Hutch, a song inspired by Dessner’s late friend, Frightened Rabbit frontman Scott Hutchison, and a second collaboration with Swift.

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


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