Big Red Machine - How Long Do You Think It's Gonna Last? [Red LP] | RECORD STORE DAY

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1. Latter Days (feat. Anas Mitchell)
2. Reese
3. Phoenix (feat. Fleet Foxes & Anas Mitchell)
4. Birch (feat. Taylor Swift)
5. Renegade (feat. Taylor Swift)
6. The Ghost of Cincinnati
7. Hoping Then
8. Mimi (feat. Ilsey)
9. Easy to Sabotage (feat. Naeem)
10. Hutch (feat. Sharon Van Etten, Lisa Hannigan & Shara Nova)
11. 8:22am (feat. La Force)
12. Magnolia
13. June's a River (feat. Ben Howard & This Is The Kit)
14. Brycie
15. New Auburn (feat. Anas Mitchell)

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Ever since childhood, learning to play various instruments in a suburban Cincinnati basementalongside his brother Bryce, Aaron Dessner has consistently sought an emotional outlet and deephuman connection through music - be it as a primary songwriter in The National, a founder andarchitect of beloved collaboration-driven music festivals, or collaborator on two critically acclaimedand chart-topping Taylor Swift albums recorded in complete pandemic-era isolation at his LongPond Studio in upstate New York, among many other projects. Through it all, Dessner has broughttogether an unlikely community of musicians that share his impulse to connect, celebrate and, mostof all, process emotion and experience through music. This generous spirit and desire to push music forward has never been more deeply felt than on BigRed Machine's "How Long Do You Think It's Gonna Last?," the second album from Dessner's evermorphing project with Bon Iver's Justin Vernon. In 2008, while assembling material for the charitycompilation "Dark Was the Night," Dessner sent Vernon a song sketch titled "big red machine".Vernon interpreted "big red machine" as a beating heart and finished the song accordingly - ametaphor Dessner says "still sticks with me today. This project goes to many places and is alwayson some level about experimentation, but it shines a light on why I make music in the first place,which is an emotional need. It's one of my therapies and one of the ways I interrogate the past." Released in 2018, Big Red Machine's self-titled debut album evolved from improvisation and whatDessner calls "structured experimentalism," with an ear toward building tracks that would work wellin a live setting alongside visual elements. When Dessner and Vernon started the Eaux Claires MusicFestival in 2015, they staged the original "Big Red Machine" as an improvisation-based performancepiece. They later took that show to the PEOPLE collective's Berlin residency and festival, and toDessner's Haven Festival in Copenhagen. "Big Red Machine started as this thing we would do forfun, and we fell in love with the feeling of it," says Dessner." Vernon agrees: "I remember it feelingreally easy, but we never knew what would happen. It was exciting. As time went on, we just keptdoing things together. And our friendship has grown strong, alongside all the collaborative stuff."New Big Red Machine material began taking shape in spring 2019, when Vernon cameto visit Dessner at Long Pond. The first week produced songs such as "Reese," "8:22am"and eventual album opener "Latter Days," a haunting number sung by Vernon and AnaïsMitchell that set the emotional tenor for what was to come. "It was clear to her that theearly sketch Justin and I made of Latter Days was about childhood, or loss of innocence andnostalgia for a time before you've grown into adulthood - before you've hurt people or lostpeople and made mistakes. Anaïs defined the whole record When she sang that, as these same themes kept appearing again and again," Dessnersays. In the ensuing months, Vernon and Dessner would meet up when they could, and inthe meantime, Dessner developed the existing material and wrote new instrumental trackswhich he sent Vernon, always eager to hear what he would receive back. "Justin is incredibly gifted, but he's also disruptive in the best way," says Dessner, pointingto the first note of the song "Birch" as a prime example. "It's absolutely brilliant, but it wasvery surprising when I heard it the first time. I can't tell you what that interval is. There aremany moments working with him where your head hits the wall in amazement like that." In the early stages of the pandemic, Swift approached Dessner to work with her on whatwould become the sister albums "folklore" and "evermore." Dessner describes this periodas a "creative blur," during which he'd be writing material for Swift and Big Red Machinesimultaneously. "I think this was an intense growing period for me, I was learning so muchfrom Taylor and the process. Along the way, I shared all of our unfinished Big Red Machinesongs with her and she really found them inspiring and gave me so much positive feedbackand encouragement," he says. "I think that helped me realize how connected this Big RedMachine music was to everything else I was doing and that I was always supposed to bechasing these ideas. I was finding new sounds and ways of working through these songs. Ijust hadn't been able to finish them. So, I did." Beyond Vernon and Swift's encouragement, many of Dessner's previous collaborators andfriends show up for him here, continuing the reciprocal exchange of ideas that has cometo define his creative community. Songs feature guest vocals and writing contributionsfrom artist friends including Fleet Foxes' Robin Pecknold ("Phoenix"), Ben Howard andThis Is The Kit ("June's a River"), Naeem ("Easy to Sabotage'), Sharon Van Etten, LisaHannigan and My Brightest Diamond's Shara Nova ("Hutch," a tune inspired by Dessner'slate friend, Frightened Rabbit frontman Scott Hutchison) and Swift herself ("Birch" and"Renegade," the latter an instant-classic Taylor earworm summed up by the poignant lyric"Is it insensitive for me to say / get your shit together so I can love you." The song wasrecorded in Los Angeles at the Kitty Committee studio in March 2021, the same week whenSwift and Dessner took home the GRAMMY for Album of the Year for "folklore.") "This is all music I generated, but it is interesting to hear how different people relate toit, or how different voices collide with it," Dessner says. "That's what makes it special. Witheveryone that's on this record, there's an openness, a creative generosity and an emotionalquality that connects it all together." As he continued writing prolifically on his own, Dessner noticed a theme emerging - theidea of sitting with the uncomfortability of personal and family darkness from his childhoodand reflecting on how emotional issues he dealt with growing up have reverberated throughhis adult life. It became clear that some of these he'd need to sing himself; songs such as"The Ghost of Cincinnati" and "Magnolia" address the disintegration of marriage and familyand mental health, asking pointed questions of himself and those closest to him. "Brycie"is an ode to his aforementioned twin and National bandmate, who picked up on the musicalvibes immediately when Dessner played the song for him for the first time backstage at aNational show in Washington D.C. "He picked along to it with me and it immediately sounded like Aaron and Bryce playingthe guitar in the basement as kids, which was my intent," Dessner remembers. "The wordsmean a lot to me. It's about my childhood with Bryce, and how I had pretty severe depressionin high school. He was the one who kept me going and took care of me until I was back onmy feet. I've lost close friends to depression and this song is about how important it was thatBryce was there for me at that time and is still here." In addition to being one of the morelyrically significant tracks on the album, Dessner says singing it himself felt like an importantact of self-acceptance. "I always sing under my breath when I write music, but I usually hand it off to [Nationalvocalist] Matt [Berninger] or others" he says. "When you're in a band for so long andsomebody else is that person, you come to rely on it and I've always loved Matt's voice andhis words. But singing 'Brycie' myself helped rewire my brain to realize that maybe Big RedMachine is the project that not only enables me to create songs with other people, but alsosometimes finish songs on my own." Recalling sessions at Sonic Ranch in Texas when Dessner recorded his vocal takes, Vernonsays, "Aaron showed me 'Brycie' a couple years ago now. I was like, this is beautiful, and youshould do