Maybe Aaron Dessner’s Instagram account doesn’t have “Just for fun. DM for collabs” as it’s bio, but perhaps it should. Not content with being one of America’s most revered song writers in The National he’s a serial teamer-upper, even in a musical age where this has become standard practice.
Most recognised over the last 18 months for helping Taylor Swift creatively rediscover herself on last year’s twin releases Folklore and Evermore, Dessner has now rekindled his relationship with Justin Vernon under the Big Red Machine banner and How Long Do You Think It’s Gonna Last? is their second album, one which revels in the small spaces but still has a grand bearing and travels in every emotion from joy to sadness.
Dessner even sings for the first time on The Ghosts of Cincinnati, a tune he wrote for Swift, but whilst said megastar is assured but hardly ground breaking on her contributions Birch and Renegade (The latter the pick) Robin Pecknold elevates Phoenix to the album’s best song, whilst the tender Hutch – with Sharon Van Etten, Lisa Hannigan and Shara Nova guesting is a tribute to Frightened Rabbit singer Scott Hutchinson. There are a lot of moving parts here, but How Long Do You Think It’s Gonna Last? is thoughtful, heartwarming and never overwhelmed by it’s stellar buddy list.
You can read the full review here.