The band Big Red Machine, composed of Aaron Dessner from The National and Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon, released their second studio album on August 27th, 2021. I discovered the band when I was looking for new music for one of my classes, and I’ve been obsessed since. Here are my top five songs from the album!
- “Mimi” (ft. Ilsey)
This is by far my favorite song on the album. It makes me want to dance. It brings me joy and makes serotonin in my brain. Vernon and Ilsey have this really cool round effect in the chorus that truly tricks the ears, but sounds so lovely.
This song starts with a fun drum and piano rhythm that makes my head naturally start to move. I love the vocal lines’ lack of movement in comparison to the business of the instrumental track. There’s also a tenor saxophone, which is always enjoyable.
- “The Ghost of Cincinnati”
This is one of the more simple songs on the album. It’s Aaron Dessner and guitar. It’s a nice change of pace, because while I love Justin Vernon’s voice, Dessner’s voice calms me more. The Ghost of Cincinnati has a muted sound across the track that makes it sound even more intimate. The A and B sections are so contrasting in sound and it helps to break up the song, and gives a nice reprieve to both. It’s also just beautifully performed.
- “Birch” (ft. Taylor Swift)
Taylor Swift is on two tracks on the album, so you know she had to get on the list. She actually is the main vocalist on Renegade, her other feature, but I like Birch better. Her harmonies are impeccable, and are truly my favorite part of the song. It elevates the song from just having Vernon as a singer.
- “Latter Days” (Anaïs Mitchell)
Anaïs Mitchell is a singer and Tony award winning broadway star. She appears on many tracks, but this is by far my favorite. The balance between her and Vernon, as well as the background vocals are both amazing and intriguing