Former R.E.M. singer Michael Stipe has long been one of Stephen Colbert’s best talk-show guests, and he’s also been a bright light during our current stay-at-home situation. Last night those roles came together when Stipe appeared on Colbert’s remote Late Show to perform “No Time For Love Like Now,” the new collaboration with the National’s Aaron Dessner he recently shared in demo form.
Stipe’s Late Show performance of “No Time For Love Like Now” was not so different from the version he shared online two weekends ago. Stipe was once again seated at home, singing his lyrics into the camera over top of the demo audio. But the fidelity is a bit higher here, and perhaps more importantly, this footage is matched with some intriguing new information: The YouTube description reads, “Friend of the show Michael Stipe isn’t sitting idle during quarantine. Here’s the brand new song he wrote with Aaron Dessner of The National for his project Big Red Machine.”
Big Red Machine is, of course, Dessner’s duo with Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon. They released a low-key incredible self-titled debut album in 2018. Now this Stipe x Dessner composition is being billed as a Big Red Machine song, which makes me wonder if Dessner and Vernon are going the guest-heavy route for their next release. It would certainly fit with the collaborative vibe of their 37d03d collective. Clue us in, rock stars!
Given all we know about it, “No Time For Love Like Now” presumably is not one of the 18 solo tracks Stipe claimed to be sitting on last summer. But we’re just happy to have new Michael Stipe music in any form. Watch him sing for Colbert below.