How Long Do You Think It's Gonna Last?
Big Red Machine Album | August 27, 2021
Paradoxically, Big Red Machine’s sprawling collective effort grew into something deeply personal. As Dessner and the other musicians put together the songs, largely remotely, themes coalesced: childhood memories, lost innocence, struggles with mental health. And after years of working in the background — with The National and as a producer for other songwriters — Dessner has stepped forward, for a few songs, as a lead singer.
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Background and Recording
Aside from Taylor, How Long Do You Think It’s Gonna Last? boasts additional guest vocal and writing contributions from Fleet Foxes’ Robin Pecknold (“Phoenix”), multiple Tony winner Anaïs Mitchell (“Latter Days”, “New Auburn”), Sharon Van Etten, Lisa Hannigan and My Brightest Diamond’s Shara Nova (“Hutch,” a tribute to late Frightened Rabbit frontman Scott Hutchison) and Naeem (“Easy To Sabotage”), plus orchestrations by Dessner’s twin brother and National bandmate Bryce:
Taylor Picked the Album Title
That sense of shared experience extended to the new album’s title, which was coined by Taylor after Aaron Dessner told her he wasn’t sure what to call the new album. Intuitively summing up the themes, she suggested titling it “How Long Do You Think It’s Gonna Last?,” a question which she pointed out could refer to multiple subjects addressed therein: “childhood, family, marriages, a depression, a losing streak, a winning streak or a creative streak. Taylor saw it all so clearly,” Dessner said and added: