Aaron Dessner and Justin Vernon’s Big Red Machine locked up a big-time collaborator in R.E.M.’s Michael Stipe. He sings on “No Time For Love Like Now,” which was released earlier this month. The song was accompanied by a video, which overlays footage of Stipe and Dessner performing the song. Last night, the two brought the song to The Tonight Show for a performance.
Given the relative lack of options the current global situation offers, the Tonight Show performance of “No Time For Love Like Now” is virtually identical in visual style to the previously released video, complete with Stipe staring down the camera at the song’s end. Regardless, it’s still an aesthetically interesting spin on the single-shot home performance video.
Dessner previously told Rolling Stone of working on the song with Stipe, “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 Stipe and Dessner perform “No Time For Love Like Now” above.