Michael Stipe teams up with Big Red Machine for new single

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Big Red Machine — the dynamic project led by Justin Vernon (Bon Iver) and Aaron Dessner (The National) — always feels in the motion. The group’s family tree is large, not only crossing with their own respective bands, but has extended into a collective of members from The War On Drugs, Hiss Golden Messenger, and now, Michael Stipe has joined the ranks.

Stipe adds to the ever-evolving nature of their sound on “No Time For Love Like Now.” His unmistakable vocals and cutting lyricism float above the track’s rich textures. Bryce Dessner provides orchestration, while Vernon, Aaron Dessner, Brad Cook (and others) craft a beautiful and subtle melodic collage of sound.

According to a press release, this particular song ended up with Stipe as a bit of a detour during BRM’s sessions. Stipe says, “I’m super excited to work with Aaron Dessner.” He continues, “And I’m thrilled with how the song and lyrics landed. The title says it all.”

The track is Big Red Machine's first release following a well-received self-titled 2018 debut. It’s a promising glimpse of what might be coming down the line. And for a group whose tenets are built on free-form collaboration and expansion — let’s hope they keep rolling tape.


Watch The National live on KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic in 2017