No Time for Love Like Now

Album: yet to be titled (2020)

Songfacts®:

  • Big Red Machine is an experimental folk-rock duo comprising The National's Aaron Dessner and Bon Iver's Justin Vernon. They released their eponymous debut album in 2018 and it reached the charts in several European countries. Two years later, Dessner and Vernon collaborated on two songs from Taylor Swift's Folklore album: "Exile" and "Peace." "No Time for Love Like Now" is the lead single from their second album.
  • The song features vocals by R.E.M's Michael Stipe. Asked by Uncut magazine how the collaboration came about, Stipe said he met Aaron Dessner and his brother Bryce in the fall of 2019 at a show held at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art where the siblings were taking part in a video piece by the Icelandic artist Ragnar Kjartansson. After a short conversation, Stipe told them he was working on some music and Aaron Dessner suggested they do something together. The R.E.M. frontman asked him to send some tracks, and this was one he gravitated towards.
  • Released in June 2020, on the face of it, this seems to be Stipe reflecting on the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent worldwide quarantines.

    Where did this all begin to change?
    The lockdown memories can't sustain
    This glistening, hanging free fall


    Aaron Dessner told Rolling Stone Stipe wrote the lyrics to "No Time for Love Like Now" in the fall of 2019, well before the coronavirus era. He added: "When the reality of the COVID-19 pandemic and social-distancing and self-isolation descended, they felt like they were written about this time all along and perhaps the message resonates especially now."

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