Justin Vernon Debuts A Timely New Big Red Machine Song, ‘Latterdays’

Justin Vernon and his Eaux Claires festival previously launched the “For Wisconsin” initiative, where Vernon meets with contest winners to discuss voting and politics. Vernon posted a video of one of those meet-ups earlier this month, and it featured him performing a brand new song about Ruth Bader Ginsburg, “Your Honor.” Now he has shared another video in the series, and this time, he premieres a new Big Red Machine song.

The track is “Latterdays,” and Vernon co-wrote it with Big Red Machine collaborator Aaron Dessner, as well as Anaïs Mitchell, who is known as a member of Bonny Light Horseman and for her Tony Award-winning Hadestown musical.

The performance came after a conversation between Vernon, a young progressive voter, and her undecided mother. Vernon prefaced the song by noting that Mitchell wrote the lyrics and explaining his interpretation of it: “To me, I think about what’s it going to feel like in the future when we look back and we wonder if we did enough.” Accompanying himself on a Neil Young-toned electric guitar, Vernon sings, “I recall it all forever / How it found us where we lay / With our arms around each other / in the latterdays, in the latterdays.”

Dessner also shared a note about the video, writing of the song, “It couldn’t be more moving and poignant in this time.”

Watch the video above.