Big Red Machine announces today the second album from Aaron Dessner’s (The National) ever-morphing project with Justin Vernon ( Bon Iver). How Long Do You Think It’s Gonna Last?was produced by Dessner at his Long Pond studio in upstate New York and, over the course of 15 songs, celebrates his unique creative partnership with Vernon. The albumwill be released August 27th via 37d03d. Pre-order is available HERE.
In the coming days and weeks prior to release day, Big Red Machine will be sharing a selection of tracks from How Long Do You Think It’s Gonna Last?, beginning today with “Latter Days,” the first single and album opener. Recorded during early sessions at Long Pond, it’s a haunting number sung by Vernon and Anaïs Mitchell that set the emotional tenor for what was to come. “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. She defined the whole record when she sang that, as these same themes kept appearing again and again,” Dessner says.
Aaron Dessner has consistently sought an emotional outlet and deep human connection through music — be it as a primary songwriter in The National, a founder and architect of beloved, collaboration-driven music festivals, or collaborator of two acclaimed and chart-topping Taylor Swift albums recorded in complete pandemic-era isolation at Long Pond, among many other projects.
On How Long Do You Think It’s Gonna Last?, many of Dessner’s previous collaborators and friends show up for him here, continuing the reciprocal exchange of ideas that has come to define his creative community. Songs feature guest vocals and writing contributions from artist friends including Fleet Foxes’ Robin Pecknold (“Phoenix”), Ben Howard and This Is The Kit (“June’s a River”), Naeem (“Easy to Sabotage’), Sharon Van Etten, Lisa Hannigan and My Brightest Diamond’s Shara Nova (“Hutch,” a tune inspired by Dessner’s late friend, Frightened Rabbit frontman Scott Hutchison) and Swift herself (“Birch” and “Renegade”; the latter was recorded in Los Angeles at the Kitty Committee studio in March 2021, the same week Swift and Dessner took home the GRAMMY for Album of the Year for “folklore”) His brother Bryce Dessner provided orchestration.
“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,” says Dessner, who for the first time also handles lead vocals on three tracks. “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.” Along with Vernon, Bryce Dessner and a community of musicians and creatives, the 37d03d (PEOPLE) collective was launched in 2016. 37d03d produces multi-artist events and operates an independent record label, all with the goal of supporting and encouraging collaboration.
How Long Do You Think It’s Gonna Last tracklist:
Latter Days (feat. Anaïs Mitchell)
Phoenix (feat. Fleet Foxes and Anaïs Mitchell)
Birch (feat. Taylor Swift)
Renegade (feat. Taylor Swift)
The Ghost of Cincinnati
Mimi (feat. Ilsey)
Easy to Sabotage (feat. Naeem)
Hutch (feat. Sharon Van Etten, Lisa Hannigan, and Shara Nova [My Brightest Diamond])
8:22am (feat. La Force)
June’s a River (feat. Ben Howard and This Is The Kit)
New Auburn (feat. Anaïs Mitchell)