Big Red Machine, the duo of Aaron Dessner and Justin Vernon, have shared one of the two Taylor Swift-featuring songs from How Long Do You Think It’s Gonna Last?. “Renegade” was recorded in Los Angeles the same week that Swift and Dessner won the Grammy for Album of the Year. It features contributions from Bryce Dessner and Jason Treuting, and it comes with a video directed by Michael Brown. Watch it below, and find Aaron Dessner’s statement about the new song.
In a new interview with Zane Lowe about the song, Dessner elaborated on his reaction to the song. “I, emotionally, was really struck by the first time I heard it just the way she talks about how anxiety and fear get in the way of loving someone or create an inability for someone to love,” he said. “And I think it’s incredibly relatable, but it’s expressed in the context of this fairly experimental sound world. The way it came together as a song it just really I think sums up the whole the Big Red Machine record.” He noted that her other song from the album, “Birch,” features a duet between Swift and Vernon.
Other guests on the new record include Fleet Foxes’ Robin Pecknold, Sharon Van Etten, and, on lead track “Latter Days,” Anaïs Mitchell. The new song arrives one day after “The Ghost of Cincinnati.” Big Red Machine’s self-titled debut album came out in 2018.