You’ve seen these collaborators together before, just not like this. First thing Friday (July 2), Big Red Machine — the indie-folk duo of The National’s Aaron Dessner and Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon — released the brand-new song “Renegade,” featuring Taylor Swift.
This trio has teamed up before, with Dessner co-writing and co-producing the bulk of the songs on Swift’s blockbuster 2020 albums Folklore and Evermore and Vernon featured on and co-writing Folklore‘s “Exile” and Evermore‘s title track. This time around, Swift is playing in their sandbox, joining Big Red Machine for one of three songs released this week from their second full-length album, How Long Do You Think It’s Gonna Last?, due Aug. 27.
The surprisingly upbeat “Renegade” was recorded at Kitty Committee Studio (aka Swift’s Los Angeles home studio) in March, the same week Swift and Dessner won the album of the year Grammy for Folklore. Swift is also featured on the yet-unreleased track “Birch” from the August album.
Big Red Machine had a busy week, releasing album opener and lead single “Latter Days,” featuring Anais Mitchell, on Tuesday alongside a music video and “The Ghost of Cincinnati” on Wednesday. “With everyone that’s on this record, there’s an openness, a creative generosity and an emotional quality that connects it all together,” Dessner said in a press release of the collaborators on the album, which also includes Fleet Foxes and Sharon Van Etten.
The 15-song album, due Aug. 27 through Jagjaguwar/37d03d, was produced by Dessner at his Long Pond studio in upstate New York — the same location of Swift’s Disney+ documentary Folklore: The Long Pond Studio Sessions.
Swift gushed about re-teaming with Dessner and Vernon in a tweet celebrating the song’s release early Friday morning, tweeting “When @Aaron_Dessner came into my life, I was ushered into his world of free-flowing creativity where you don’t overthink, you just make music. A song we wrote for his project @BRMadjv (which also features Justin Vernon) is out! It’s called ‘Renegade.'”
Listen to Big Red Machine’s “Renegade,” featuring Swift, below:
When @Aaron_Dessner came into my life, I was ushered into his world of free-flowing creativity where you don’t overthink, you just make music. A song we wrote for his project @BRMadjv (which also features ⚡️Justin Vernon✨) is out! It’s called Renegade. https://t.co/qisY2CQ0bJ pic.twitter.com/PzTMNyskDS
— Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) July 2, 2021