Published Jun 11, 2020Michael Stipe of R.E.M. has teamed up with Big Red Machine — the multi-artist collective led by the National's Aaron Dessner and Bon Iver's Justin Vernon — for a new video for their single, "No Time for Love Like Now." Having delivered a "first take" demo version of the song back in March, the track officially arrives today via Vernon's 37d03d label.
Written by Stipe and Dessner, with additional orchestration by the National's Bryce Dessner, the song's new video was directed by Michael Brown, and — as you may expect — observes ongoing COVID-19 physical distancing protocols.
"Michael wrote the lyrics to 'No Time for Love Like Now' last fall, but 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," Aaron Dessner told the Rolling Stone of the song.
"I've looked up to Michael and R.E.M. for so long; they were really such a huge influence on us and we became friends on tour, but I never imagined I'd have the opportunity to make a song with him," he continued. "Working together to arrange this song in person and ultimately finish it from our respective isolation at home was definitely one of the more surreal experiences I've had as a musician. He has an incredible vision and focus for the art that he makes."
37d03d has launched a line of Stipe-designed merch coinciding with the single's release. Proceeds from sales will benefit the Equal Justice Initiative and the COVID-19 Protest Fund.
Big Red Machine last released a record back in 2018 with their self-titled debut. Meanwhile, Stipe has been cooking up some new material of his own. So far, there has been no word on whether or not the "No Time for Love Like Now" will appear on Stipe's forthcoming debut solo work.
Watch the new video for "Not Time for Love Like Now" below.