Big Red Machine How Long Do You Think It's Gonna Last?
Ever since childhood, learning to play various instruments in a suburban Cincinnati basement alongside his brother Bryce, 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 on two critically acclaimed and chart-topping Taylor Swift albums recorded in complete pandemic-era isolation at his Long Pond Studio in upstate New York, among many other projects. Through it all, Dessner has brought together an unlikely community of musicians that share his impulse to connect, celebrate and, most of all, process emotion and experience through music.
This generous spirit and desire to push music forward has never been more deeply felt than on Big Red 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. Musically, “How Long Do You Think It’s Gonna Last?” features what Dessner calls maybe the “clearest distillation” of his varying songwriting and production styles. Songs like “Reese,” the Dessner-sung “Magnolia” and the elegiac “Hutch” are built on the kinds of tear-jerking piano melodies millions of fans have come to love from The National, but then move at their own pace toward unusual sonic destinations. “Aaron’s greatest gift as a collaborator is his ability to evolve and experiment with the emotional sound that is so natural to him,” Vernon says of the material.
1. Latter Days (feat. Anaïs Mitchell) 2. Reese 3. Phoenix (feat. Fleet Foxes and Anaïs Mitchell) 4. Birch (feat. Taylor Swift) 5. Renegade (feat. Taylor Swift) 6. The Ghost of Cincinnati 7. Hoping Then 8. Mimi (feat. Ilsey) 1. Easy to Sabotage (feat. Naeem) 2. Hutch (feat. Sharon Van Etten, Lisa Hannigan and Shara Nova [My Brightest Diamond]) 3. 8:22am (feat. La Force) 4. Magnolia 5. June’s a River (feat. Ben Howard and This Is The Kit) 6. Brycie 7. New Auburn (feat. Anaïs Mitchell)
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