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Big Red Machine share new Fleet Foxes and Anaïs Mitchell collaboration "Phoenix"

22 July 2021, 15:31 | Written by Cerys Kenneally

Big Red Machine have delivered new Fleet Foxes and Anaïs Mitchell collaboration "Phoenix" as the latest preview of their upcoming second album How Long Do You Think It’s Gonna Last?.

"Phoenix" was co-written by Aaron Dessner, Fleet Foxes lead vocalist Robin Pecknold, Justin Vernon and Anaïs Mitchell, and features co-production from Pecknold and Dessner.

The new track is the fourth preview of Big Red Machine's How Long Do You Think It’s Gonna Last? album, following Taylor Swift collaboration "Renegade", "Latter Days" with Anaïs Mitchell and "The Ghost of Cincinnati".

Dessner says of the new track, ""Phoenix" was one of the last songs we wrote for this record. I was thinking about The Band and the Grateful Dead... maybe imagining this Big Red Machine album was some version of The Last Waltz. Justin first heard it while driving and immediately the chorus melody came into his head. I shared the sketch with Robin Pecknold, who I've been a fan of forever and who I'd been dreaming would join us on this record. Robin wrote the verses and pre-chorus as a kind of dialogue with Justin, recalling a conversation they once had backstage in Phoenix. Later Anais wrote words to the chorus and the Westerlies added their magic to the instrumental. JT Bates rumbles around in rare form on the drums on this song. I think it's what I always imagined Big Red Machine would sound like."

Pecknold adds, "It was a high, high honor to work on this song, and beyond that it was a really interesting creative challenge. Justin's vocals and the beautiful chorus were already in place before I got my hands on it, so I felt my job melodically and lyrically was to set his entrance up in the best possible way. I felt like a pilgrim putting questions to an elusive sage, not needing clear answers, but happy for the chance to ask."

How Long Do You Think It’s Gonna Last? will follow the duo's 2018 self-titled debut album, and will feature a star-studded list of collaborators, including another song with Swift, Fleet Foxes’ Robin Pecknold, Sharon Van Etten, This Is The Kit, Naeem and more.

"Phoenix" featuring Fleet Foxes' Robin Pecknold and Anaïs Mitchell is out now. Big Red Machine's How Long Do You Think It's Gonna Last? album will arrive 27 August via Jagjaguwar/37d03d, and is available to pre-order now.
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