Posts Tagged ‘Justin Vernon’

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“No Time For Love Like Now” is the first song from Big Red Machine since the release of their critically acclaimed self-titled debut in 2018. Big Red Machine began as a collaboration between Aaron Dessner and Justin Vernon in 2008, and has grown into a multi-artist collective. When the group got together this year to begin working on new music, this particular song made a detour and ended up with Michael Stipe.

We’re so pleased to share this powerful new song from Michael Stipe & Big Red Machine, out now on 37d03d. The collaboration came about when Aaron Dessner shared a folder of new Big Red Machine music with Michael last year. No Time For Love Like Now was written last fall but when the reality of the COVID pandemic and social distancing and self-isolation descended the words felt like they were written about this time. The song features orchestration by Bryce Dessner,  Justin Vernon, Brad Cook, JT Bates, Thomas Barlett, Clarice Jensen and Yuki Numata Resnick also perform on the track. 

Michael Stipe & Big Red Machine have also designed a “No Time For Love Like Now” t-shirt and tote. All proceeds from the sales will go to the Equal Justice Initiative and COVID-19 Protest Relief Fund.

Written by Michael Stipe and Aaron Dessner, produced by Aaron Dessner, with Orchestration by Bryce Dessner, and lyrics by Michael Stipe

Out now on 37d03d

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Jerry Williams’—aka Swamp Dogg—first love was country music, listening to it as a Navy family kid growing up in Portsmouth, Virginia. “My granddaddy, he just bought country records out the asshole,” Swamp remembers. “Every Friday when he came home from the Navy yard he’d stop off and get his records, like ‘Mule Train’ by Frankie Laine, or ‘Riders in the Sky’ by Vaughn Monroe. His first time performing on stage, in fact, was a country song at a talent show when he was six years old: “I did Red Foley’s version of ‘Peace in the Valley.’
While the 77 year-old Williams’ most enduring persona is the psychedelic soul superhero Swamp Dogg—a musical vigilante upholding truths both personal and political since 1970’s immortal album, Total Destruction To Your Mind he will tell anybody who will listen that he’s considered himself country this entire time. “If you notice I use a lot of horns,” Swamp says. “But actually, if you listen to my records before I start stacking shit on it, I’m country. I sound country.

Swamp began his professional singing career as Little Jerry Williams back in the ‘50s before working as an A&R man for Atlantic Records in the late ‘60s. His biggest hit is actually a country song: 1970’s “Don’t Take Her (She’s All I Got).” Written with his best friend Gary U.S. Bonds, the track is country in that woeful, underdog-baring-their-soul sort of way that for some reason only country songs really ever allow themselves to be. Freddie North covered it first and made it a Top 40 pop song, but Johnny Paycheck took it all the way to #2 on the country charts in 1971.

Following 2018’s critically acclaimed, Ryan Olson-produced Love, Loss, And Auto-Tune his first LP to debut on the Billboard charts and his first chart ink since his 1970 song “Mama’s BabyDaddy’s Maybe” Sorry You Couldn’t Make It allows Swamp to finally dive into the sound he grew up playing. With the support of Pioneer Works Press, they recorded the album at Nashville’s Sound Emporium with Olson as producer once again, and backed by a crack studio band led by Derick Lee, a keyboard virtuoso who worked as the musical director of BET’s Bobby Jones Gospel Show for nearly four decades. Nashville guitar firebrand Jim Oblon combusts his way through lead duties, while frequent collaborator Moogstar and special guests Justin Vernon (Bon Iver), John Prine, Jenny Lewis, Channy Leaneagh and Chris Beirden of Poliça, and Sam Amidon join the action throughout.

A band of 14 players, including Vernon, Lee, Beirden, and Moogstar, among others, provides the background for Swamp’s devastating new take on “Don’t Take Her (She’s All I Got).” Lead single “Sleeping Without You Is A Dragg” is one of Swamp’s most heartfelt songs to date and features Vernon on piano as well as backing vocals by Lewis and Leaneagh. He duets with country-folk legend John Prine on two songs (“It’s the first time I had seen John since the sixties!” laughs Swamp): the indelible, psychedelic ballad “Memories” and the reflective “Please Let Me Go Round Again.” Originally written and demoed in his forties, “Please Let Me Go Round Again” is a plea for one more chance at life, sung with acute emotional connection.
These are narratives about love, of missing the one you love, of compassion, family and friends, and even the kind of love that transcends death. “I was looking for a new way for Swamp Dogg to go,” he explains. “Apart from me singing and writing most of the songs, I didn’t participate—in other words, I told ‘em, ‘Don’t ask me, I wanna see what happens without my influence.’ It was hard for me to do, ego-wise.

Sorry You Couldn’t Make It sees Swamp come full circle, and closes what has felt to him like unfinished business. “They didn’t have any blacks in country until Charlie Pride came along,” he says. “But in time, all things change and that’s what has happened to country music.” Surveying today’s Nashville reality, Swamp sees opportunity: artists as divergent as Darius Rucker and Lil Nas X are converging in a genre that he once worried might never give him his shot. “I’m anxious because it’s like I’ve taken all my money and put it on one horse,” he says. “But I believe in this horse.

“Sleeping Without You Is a Dragg” from Swamp Dogg off the album ‘Sorry You Couldn’t Make It’ out on Joyful Noise Recordings & Pioneer Works Press.

Bon Iver Announce ‘i,i’<span>New Album Out August 30th </span>

Bon Iver have announced a new studio album, i,i, set for release on August. 30th via Jagjaguwar Records, along with sharing two more tracks from the effort, “Jelmore” and the song “Faith.”

As was hinted at with the band’s “Sincerity is Forever in Season” teaser trailer, released earlier this month, this is the fourth studio record from Justin Vernon’s project follows in the seasonal pattern of the previous three: 2007’s For Emma, Forever Ago (winter); 2011’s Bon Iver (spring); 2016’s 22, A Million (summer); and now i,i representing the fall.

“It feels very much like the most adult record, the most complete,” Vernon says in a press announcement for the album. “It feels like when you get through all this life, when the sun starts to set, and what happens is you start gaining perspective. And then you can put that perspective into more honest, generous work.”

Vernon recorded i,i at Wisconsin’s April Base and Texas’ Sonic Ranch studios and, according to the press release, at times used all five studio rooms of the latter location simultaneously. For the sessions, Vernon was joined by a band comprising Sean Carey, Andrew Fitzpatrick, Mike Lewis, Matt McCaughan, Rob Moose and Jenn Wasner, along with contributions from James Blake, Brad and Phil Cook, Aaron and Bryce Dessner, Bruce Hornsby and several others.

“The title of the record can mean whatever it means to you or me,” Vernon says. “It can mean deciphering and bolstering one’s identity. It can be how important the self is and how unimportant the self is, how we’re all connected.”

Bon Iver will head out on a North American tour in the late summer and fall this year, kicking off August. 31st in Missoula, MT.  the two new i,i singles (which follow up the previously released “Hey, Ma” and “U (Man Like)”) .

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Bon Iver (the project of Justin Vernon) shared two new songs, “Hey Ma” and “U (Man Like),” via lyric videos for each track. They also announced some new tour dates and launched a new website (www.icommai.com). The songs feature a slew of special guests, including Jenn Wasner of Wye Oak and Flock of DimesMoses Sumney, and Bruce Hornsby. We were torn between the two, but settled on “U (Man Like)” as our favorite of the two, with “Hey Ma” an honorable mention below.

Vernon had this to say in a press release: “This project began with a single person, but throughout the last 11 years, the identity of Bon Iver has bloomed and can only be defined by the faces in the ever growing family we are.”

The official musician credits on “Hey Ma” are: Ben Lester – CP-70 Electric Piano. Psymun – Sampling. Justin Vernon – Matrix 6, Guitar. Brian Moen – Drums. Jenn Wasner – Voice, Guitar. Jake Luppen – Guitar. Buddy Ross – Synth. Rob Moose – Violin, Viola, String Arrangement, Worm Crew Arrangement, Conductor. Brad Cook – Basses. Worm Crew – Horns.

The official musician credits on “U (Man Like)” are: “Justin Vernon – Bass + Voice. Bruce Hornsby – Piano, Voice. Phil Cook – Piano and B3, Voice. Elsa Jensen – Voice. Moses Sumney – Voice. Jenn Wasner – Voice. Rob Moose – Violin, Viola, Octave Viola, String Arrangement, Worm Crew Arrangement. Worm Crew – Horns. Brooklyn Youth Chorus + Bryce Dessner – Choral.”

Big Red MAchine

Big Red Machine was a decade in the making, starting with the sketch of a song The National’s Aaron Dessner sent Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon for the Dark Was the Night charity compilation and culminating with recording sessions with a host of friends. Anchored by Dessner and Vernon, their guests include vocalists like Lisa Hannigan, Phoebe Bridgers, This Is the Kit’s Kate Stables and Arcade Fire’s Richard Reed Parry, and string arrangements from Rob Moose and Dessner’s twin brother Bryce. In all, it includes more than two dozen contributors from the minimalistic PEOPLE music platform created by Vernon and the Dessners to encourage collaboration and sharing. Side projects like this often seem tossed off, but Big Red Machine feels like the opposite—something remarkably ambitious, a labor of love that sees two of indie rock’s most talented and creative minds pursuing a passion without pressure, or limits.

The resulting music can sound at times like a National album with Vernon’s echoing, manipulated falsetto serving as a stark contrast to the warm, intimate baritone of Matt Berninger, and at other times like a Bon Iver album with more complex and inventive chordal patterns and rhythmic structures. It’s experimental but affecting with Vernon’s snippets of heart-on-sleeve vulnerability popping up screaming from a cloud of otherwise opaque lyrics. You can hear the influence of Vernon’s work in the hip-hop world in both the underlying beats and his vocals on tracks like “Gratitude” and “Lyla.” Polyrhythms and the odd time signatures Dessner loves to employ with The National abound, and combined with Vernon’s recent sonic exploration on 22 a Million and sometimes incomprehensible word salads, immediate accessibility isn’t really the goal here. But those complexities and sonic risks are also where the music is most rewarding. Neither The National nor Bon Iver does “happy music,” and the themes running through Big Red Machine are rarely uplifting, but there’s unmistakable joy in the music here, a deep care and love for what they were creating and how they got to create it—among friends who also happen to be overflowing with talent. Fans of either band are likely to share in that joy.

Big Red Machine is a project born out of love for downsized collaboration from two architects of stadium-sized indie-rock bands. Justin Vernon (Bon Iver) and Aaron Dessner (the National) have on this project for years and 2018’s self-titled release is their most expansive recorded output. This is an ethereal listen, straight up; a record to get lost in. You’ll gravitate to new territory upon every subsequent spin, and you’ll certainly hear connections to their day jobs. Vernon is front and center with his penchant for complicated, programmed textures, and Dessner paints around his partner’s vocals with flowery, delicate soundscapes.

Big Red Machine (Photo by Graham Tolbert)

Big Red Machine was a decade in the making, starting with the sketch of a song The National’s Aaron Dessner sent Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon for the Dark Was the Night charity compilation. The duo enlisted more than two dozen collaborators, including vocalists like Lisa Hannigan, Phoebe Bridgers, This Is the Kit’s Kate Stables and Arcade Fire’s Richard Reed Parry, and string arrangements from Rob Moose and Dessner’s twin brother Bryce. Side projects like this often seem tossed off, but Big Red Machine feels like the opposite—something remarkably ambitious, a labor of love that sees two of indie rock’s most talented and creative minds pursuing a passion without pressure, or limits.

The resulting music can sound at times like a National album with Vernon’s echoing, manipulated falsetto serving as a stark contrast to the warm, intimate baritone of Matt Berninger, and at other times like a Bon Iver album with more complex and inventive chordal patterns and rhythmic structures. It’s experimental but affecting with Vernon’s snippets of heart-on-sleeve vulnerability popping up screaming from a cloud of otherwise opaque lyrics.

Alongside the album, they’ve unveiled new videos for three tracks from the record: “Gratitude,” “Forest Green,” and “I Won’t Run From It.” The visuals were directed by Eric Timothy Carlson and Aaron Anderson, and they feature colorful layers of graphics, text, and images.

Aaron Dessner & Justin Vernon are Big Red Machine. A project evolving through the PEOPLE collective.

Here’s music with a great backstory and unique evolution. “Music for Wood and Strings” began with an idea from Bryce Dessner who not only conceived of the music but invented the instrument the music was played on. As So Percussion’s Adam Sliwinski has been playing these “chordsticks” while they perform “Music for Wood and Strings” and explains that “chordsticks are a hybrid instrument which cross the sound properties of an electric guitar with the playing action of hammered dulcimers. In order to write any of this music, Bryce first had to commission the instruments from Aron Sanchez (Buke and Gase). Once he had a few built, he brought them to us (So Percussion) to discover what they could do.“Music for Wood and Strings grew out of Bryce watching us play the chordsticks. He decided that playing string instruments didn’t prevent us from still playing intricate rhythmic patterns! Aside from one string on the bass instrument, none of the chordsticks have frets — each chord is fixed and the musical texture is achieved by bouncing notes around the ensemble. We play them with plain #2 pencils, which started as placeholder beaters but ended up doing the job well.”

Adam Sliwinski says that this track is one of the bands most appealing tracks in live performance even as an instrumental track. “On this new version of the track — we think of it as more than a simple remix — Bryce, Justin and Sean (the latter two, members of Bon Iver) turn the original piece into a compelling background for a beautiful song. We never worked directly with Justin or Sean on the track because our portion is just the first four minutes of our recording. We Love what they have done with it, and are honored that musicians from a band that people hold in such high regard wanted to make something with it that is entirely their own.”

“The chains of collaboration and community that led to this song cover a lot of ground: Some of the members of So Percussion have known Bryce since his days studying music at Yale — Bryce knows Aron Sanchez from his band Buke and Gase who record for Bryce’s record label Brassland — and we’ve since become collaborators with Buke and Gase and recently cut an album with them (yet unreleased). Finally, Bryce knows the Bon Iver folks from his travels with his indie rock band The National, whom So Percussion has also collaborated with. This is a simple song, but the family tree that led to it arises from very rich soil.”

As for the video, it was created by A Noah Harrison, He wrote to say that the video considers “the relationship between man’s creative process and the greater forces of nature that permit it. The video juxtaposes human creation with the destruction of our natural world, and the inherent connection between them. As we zoom into this man-made grid, we see the artist create a form reminiscent of a snowflake alongside the artificial re-forming of polar ice caps. Reversed, water here is sucked from the sea and adheres to the glacier. Near the end of the video, these processes flip: the snow begins to melt in a natural way as man begins to un-create in an artificial way. It seems as we continue to build up our material world, we remix, edit and delete our natural world.”

Justin Vernon and Aaron Dessner Detail New Album as Big Red Machine.

Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon and the National’s Aaron Dessner have detailed their debut album as Big Red Machine. The self-titled LP is set to come out August 31st via their PEOPLE digital platform, as well as on vinyl, CD, and cassette in partnership with JagjaguwarBig Red Machine includes the four songs that Vernon and Dessner released last month (“Forest Green,” “Lyla,” “Gratitude,” and “Hymnostic”).

Vernon and Dessner developed Big Red Machine over the last two years. They produced the album together with frequent collaborator Brad Cook. Big Red Machine was recorded and mixed by Jonathan Low, mostly at Dessner’s Long Pond studio in upstate New York (where the National also recorded much of Sleep Well Beast).

In a press release, Dessner stated, “I don’t think the record would exist without the community that came together to make it.” He continued, “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.”

Releases August 31st, 2018

The trio will release new album “If I Was”, produced by Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon, on 23rd March and here they are with an exclusive live version of one of the tracks from the album. In the meantime the sisters are currently on a UK tour, playing Cardiff’s Glee Club tonight (15th February) Vernon, who produced the trio’s forthcoming second album ‘If I Was’, was introduced by Jessica Staveley-Taylor as she recounted recording their second album at Vernon’s Wisconsin studio over the past two years. Last Night at their London Show he joined them on stage.
“It just so happens that he’s in town tonight, we didn’t know he was going to be, so we asked if he’d come up on stage with us,” she said.
He joined them for ‘Make It Holy’ toward the end of their 90-minute set, joining in on guitar and backing vocals, and sang the second verse on his own. After he left the stage, Emily Staveley-Taylor said: “Music is the most amazing thing, and has let us meet the most incredible people. It’s magic.”
As well as material from their first album ‘Dead & Born & Grown’ such as ‘Mexico’, ‘Pay Us No Mind’ and set closer ‘Wisely & Slow’, the sisters performed ‘Open’ from the ‘Blood I Bled EP’ and 10 songs from their forthcoming album, including ‘Steady’, ‘Teeth White’ and current single ‘Black And White’, which Camilla Staveley-Taylor said was about “being rather angry. Really fucking angry, actually.”

The sisters said about recording the album with Vernon, Camilla described being in Wisconsin as like “being on a school trip with no parents”.
“We were itching to have a break and to let out loads of thoughts and emotions that we hadn’t had chance to express,” she continued. “We were very fortunate to have a place at Justin’s where we were allowed to do whatever wanted. It was the most liberating experience, being able to record until 4am, or while drunk. And there was no idea that was too silly.”

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Emily, Jessica, and Camilla Staveley -Taylor have been making music together since they were children, growing up in Watford, UK, England. Brought up in a house that echoed to the sounds of Simon & Garfunkel, Crosby, Stills & Nash and The Beatles, singing in perfect 3-part harmony came naturally to these three sisters. Having started gigging in local pubs and cafes, The Staves are now captivating audiences on much bigger stages – earning rapturous encores with their exquisite songs of love & longing, their extraordinary intertwining voices melt the most cynical of hearts.