Big Red Machine—the collaborative project of Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon and The National’s Aaron Dessner—have joined forces with Taylor Swift on the track “Renegade.”
Swift confronts an increasingly toxic relationship over a warm soundscape crafted from sampled guitar riffs and thumping backbeats. “Is it insensitive for me to say / Get your shit together / So I can love you / Is it really your anxiety / That stops you from giving me everything / Or do you just not want to?” she sings.
Both Vernon and Dessner worked on her 2020 sister albums, Folklore and Evermore. “When [Dessner] came into my life, I was ushered into his world of free-flowing creativity where you don’t overthink, you just make music,” Swift tweeted about the collaboration soon after its release.
When @Aaron_Dessner came into my life, I was ushered into his world of free-flowing creativity where you don’t overthink, you just make music. A song we wrote for his project @BRMadjv (which also features ⚡️Justin Vernon✨) is out! It’s called Renegade. https://t.co/qisY2CQ0bJ pic.twitter.com/PzTMNyskDS
— Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) July 2, 2021
The track will be part of Big Red Machine’s upcoming second album, How Long Do You Think it’s Gonna Last?, which will be released on August 27. Swift will also contribute vocals to another album track, “Birch.” Beyond Swift, other artists slated to contribute to the project include Ben Howard, Sharon Van Etten, Lisa Hannigan, as well as Robin Pecknold from Fleet Foxes.
Prior to the release of “Renegade,” Big Red Machine previewed the album with the songs “Ghosts of Cincinnati” and “Latter Days.”
Big Red Machine first emerged in 2018 with their self-titled debut album, which featured tracks including “Forest Green,” “I Won’t Run From It,” and “Gratitude.”
Listen to “Renegade” here: