Back in March, former R.E.M. frontman Michael Stipe shared a demo of a new song titled “No Time For Love Like Now”. Made in collaboration with Big Red Machine — aka The National’s Aaron Dessner and Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon — the studio version of the song has now been released, complete with a stylish music video.
This time around, Stipe is fully immersed in Dessner and Vernon’s soundscapes, giving his vocals a more ethereal quality. There’s depth to the sound now, which isn’t too surprising given that Stipe was literally singing over their recording in the OG demo.
While Aaron produced the track, his brother and National bandmate, Bryce Dessner, actually orchestrated it. As for Vernon’s part, he supplied electric guitar, clearly channeling his inner Peter Buck. In an interview with Rolling Stone, Dessner said the track is one of 20 new songs that Big Red Machine has been working on over the last year.
“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,” Dessner explained. “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.”
Hear “No Time for Love Like Now” below via its Michael Brown-directed video, which captures the musicians in the studio. The song is the third Stipe’s shared in recent months, following “Your Capricious Soul” and “Drive to the Ocean”.
In related news, Stipe, ever the charitable soul, designed a line of merch for the new song with proceeds going directly to the Equal Justice Initiative and the COVID-19 Protest Fund.
Editor’s Note: Consequence of Sound just launched its own capsule of custom face masks. A portion of the proceeds will benefit MusiCares’ COVID-19 Artist Relief fund supporting independent musicians.