Photo by Graham Tolbert
Justin Vernon and Aaron Dessner’s duo project Big Red Machine have shared another single off their forthcoming album How Long Do You Think It’s Gonna Last?, out Aug. 27.
The new clip is dubbed “Phoenix,” and it features both Robin Pecknold (Fleet Foxes) and Anaïs Mitchell.
According to Dessner, this tune was one of the final additions to the album, created while he was “thinking about the Band and the Grateful Dead.”
Dessner explains, “Justin first heard [“Phoenix”] while driving and immediately the chorus melody came into his head. I shared the sketch with Robin Pecknold, who I’ve been a fan of forever and who I’d been dreaming would join us on this record. Robin wrote the verses and pre-chorus as a kind of dialogue with Justin, recalling a conversation they once had backstage in Phoenix. Later, Anaïs wrote words to the chorus and the Westerlies added their magic to the instrumental. JT Bates rumbles around in rare form on the drums on this song. I think it’s what I always imagined Big Red Machine would sound like.”
Added Pecknold, “It was a high, high honor to work on this song, and beyond that it was a really interesting creative challenge. Justin’s vocals and the beautiful chorus were already in place before I got my hands on it, so I felt my job melodically and lyrically was to set his entrance up in the best possible way. I felt like a pilgrim putting questions to an elusive sage, not needing clear answers, but happy for the chance to ask.”
Additional guests on How Long Do You Think It’s Gonna Last? include Taylor Swift, Sharon Van Etten and more.
Pre-order How Long Do You Think It’s Gonna Last? here.
Listen to “Phoenix” below: