Following mysterious teasers littered throughout their social media, Big Red Machine (the collaborative project of Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon and The National’s Aaron Dessner) announced that their new album How Long Do You Think It’s Gonna Last? will be out Aug. 27 on their own 37do3d label. Earlier in the week, the band shared singles “Latter Days,” featuring Anaïs Mitchell, and “The Ghost of Cincinnati.” Friday, the band unveiled “Renegade,” a complex and gorgeous track that slowly unveils each of its elements like petals emerging in spring, featuring the vocals of pop superstar Taylor Swift. The inclusion of the songwriter, who has worked on projects with each member of the band, is a perfect complement to the emotional and musical stylings of the artists, making for an ideal collaboration.
Aaron Dessner shared the following statement about the new song:
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.
Alongside the single is a video directed by Michael Brown that features each artist as well as handwritten lyrics. Check it out below, as well as the lyric video for “The Ghost of Cincinnati,” and Bon Iver and The National performances from the Paste archives.