‘Renegade’ features Swift’s voice most prominently, with Vernon occasionally providing backup vocals and Dessner handling production.
It’s one of two collaborations between Big Red Machine and Swift set to appear on the band’s new album ‘How Long Do You Think It’s Gonna Last?’, along with the yet-to-be-released ‘Birch’. ‘Renegade’ also follows two previous tracks released from the album, ‘Latter Days’ with Anaïs Mitchell and ‘The Ghost Of Cincinnati’.
Watch the lyric video for ‘Renegade’ below.
Vernon teased the existence of ‘Renegade’ back in April, playing a clip of it on Instagram live before saying, “That’s the awesome Taylor one. I think this should be the single”.
Swift, Vernon and Dessner have been working together frequently over the past year, with the latter two contributing writing and production for both of Swift’s 2020 albums, ‘Folklore’ and ‘Evermore’. The former would go on to win Album of the Year at the 2021 Grammy Awards.
“While we were making ‘Folklore’ and ‘Evermore’ last year, Taylor and I sometimes talked about experimenting and writing songs together some day for Big Red Machine,” Dessner said of ‘Renegade’ in a press statement.
“Making music with your friends just to make it — that’s how Big Red Machine started and has grown — and that’s how ‘Renegade’ came about too. This song was something we wrote after we finished ‘Evermore’ and it dawned on us that this was a BRM song. Taylor’s words hit me so hard when I heard her first voice memo and still do, every time.
“Justin lifted the song further into the heavens,” Dessner continued, “and my brother [Bryce Dessner]’s strings and drummer Jason Treuting add so much.
“The feeling and sound of this song feel very much at the heart of ‘How Long Do You Think It’s Gonna Last?’ I’m so grateful to Taylor for continuing to share her incredible talent with me and that we are still finding excuses to make music together.”
‘How Long Do You Think It’s Gonna Last?’, due out August 27, will feature a smorgasbord of other collaborators and vocalists, including Fleet Foxes’ Robin Pecknold, Ben Howard, This Is The Kit, Sharon Van Etten and more.
As for Swift, she recently announced that the next album from her catalog she’ll be re-releasing is 2012’s ‘Red’, set to include all 30 songs that were meant to feature on the original release.