Big Red Machine have released “Phoenix (feat. Fleet Foxes and Anaïs Mitchell)”, the fourth track off their newest album, How Long Do You Think It’s Gonna Last?” due out August 27 on Jagjaguwar / 37d03d. The track follows “Latter Days (feat. Anaïs Mitchell)”, “The Ghost of Cincinnati”, and “Renegade Feat. Taylor Swift”. Keeping with the collaborative energy behind Big Red Machine, “Phoenix” was co-written by Aaron Dessner, Fleet Foxes frontman Robin Pecknold, Justin Vernon and Anaïs Mitchell with co-production credit for both Pecknold and Dessner. “Phoenix” marks the first collaboration between Pecknold and Big Red Machine.
“It was a high, high honor to work on this song, and beyond that it was a really interesting creative challenge,” commented Fleet Foxes’ Robin Pecknold. “Justin’s vocals and 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.”
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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.
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 Dessner 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.”
“That’s what makes it special,” Dessner says. “With everyone that’s on this record, there’s an openness, a creative generosity and an emotional quality that connects it all together.”