Big Red Machine: How Long Do You Think It's Gonna Last? (opaque red) LP

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The 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 Aaron Dessner's ever-morphing project with Bon Iver's Justin Vernon. In 2008, while assembling material for the charity compilation 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 - a metaphor Dessner says "still sticks with me today. This project goes to many places and is always on 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."

Collaborators and friends show up across the album, continuing the reciprocal exchange of ideas that has come to define their 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"); and Taylor Swift ("Birch" and "Renegade"). Swift's sister albums Folklore and Evermore were co-produced by Dessner, and her encouragement helped him realize "how connected this Big Red Machine music was to everything else I was doing, and that I was always supposed to be chasing these ideas."

"Big Red Machine started as this thing we would do for fun, and we fell in love with the feeling of it," says Dessner." Vernon agrees: "I remember it feeling really easy, but we never knew what would happen. It was exciting. As time went on, we just kept doing things together. And our friendship has grown strong, alongside all the collaborative stuff."

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