Michael Stipe guested on The Late Show in April, and the R.E.M. leader performed “No Time For Love Like Now,” a song he wrote with Aaron Dessner for Dessner and Justin Vernon’s joint project, Big Red Machine. Now, two months after its late-night debut, Big Red Machine have shared the studio version of their Stipe collaboration. The contemplative track arrives alongside a video, which features stylized footage of Stipe and Dessner separately performing the song, with the clips superimposed on top of each other.
Dessner told Rolling Stone of working with Stipe:
“On a whim, I shared a folder of in-progress BRM sketches with Michael last year, and it was exciting when he really gravitated to a few of them. 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.
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. 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.”
Watch the “No Time For Love Like Now” video above.