At the end of March, Michael Stipe shared a new collaboration with the National’s Aaron Dessner called “No Time For Love Like Now.” When Stipe performed that same song on Colbert, we learned it was coming out under the banner of Big Red Machine, Dessner’s partnership with Justin Vernon that blossomed into a sneakily great album two years ago. When the song officially came out two weeks ago, Dessner told us it’s one of over 20 new Big Red Machine tracks in the works, some of them featuring voices like Sharon Van Etten and Anaïs Mitchell.
Now we have yet another chance to see Stipe sing “No Time For Love Like Now” from home. This time, in a performance for Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show that has gone online before it airs on TV, the erstwhile R.E.M. singer is joined remotely by Dessner on piano. Stipe wears a face mask at first. There are some decent lo-fi lighting effects. The lyrics remain eerily relevant to quarantine 2020, but, like, actually relevant, not in some shoehorned faux-profound way. I mean: “Whatever waiting means in this new place/ I am waiting for you.”
Watch Stipe and Dessner do their thing with Fallon’s vigorous philosophical approval below.
Big Red Machine drop the album you cowards!