In 2008, Aaron Dessner (of the National) sent Justin Vernon (of Bon Inver) a rough outline of a song called “Big Red Machine.” A decade later, the two have officially joined forces to collaborate on a project by the same name. Today, the duo announced that their debut eponymous album will be out next month. We already heard four singles — “Forest Green,” “Lyla,” “Gratitude,” and “Hymnostic” — when they were all made available on Dessner and Vernon’s new digital platform, PEOPLE.
Dessner and Vernon cultivated the album material over two years of experimenting with sets at festivals, and it shows. The four songs we’ve already heard have their own kinetic energy, a sound that can only be harnessed through the force of live improvisation.
Here’s what Dessner had to say about the album and the people surrounding it:
I don’t think the record would exist without the community that came together to make it. We took the music to a certain point, and then we reached out and sent it far and wide, inviting friends to contribute any and all ideas. We’ve viewed the record and the process from a community standpoint. We’re incredibly excited about it, as excited as we would be for any album we might make in another situation that’s more conventional. But this feels like something new—the process felt different and the outcome felt different.
Listen to “Forest Green,” “Lyla,” “Gratitude,” and “Hymnostic” and check out the Big Red Machine tracklist below.
01 “Deep Green”
04 “Air Stryp”
06 “Forest Green”
08 “People Lullaby”
09 “I Won’t Run from It”
Big Red Machine is out 8/31. Pre-order it here.