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Dessner co-wrote and co-produced Swift’s surprise 2020 albums ‘Folklore’ and ‘Evermore’ alongside Jack Antonoff. He went on to work with the singer on the 2021 re-recorded versions of ‘Fearless’ and ‘Red’.
Earlier this month, Dessner joined Swift onstage in Tampa, Florida to perform collaborative renditions of ‘The Great War’ (a track he produced for the ‘3am Edition’ of ‘Midnights’) and ‘Mad Woman’ from ‘Folklore’.
The pop star will feature on ‘The Alcott’, a song NME‘s Thomas Smith described as a “subtle duet” and “a back-and-forth conversation between frontman [Matt] Berninger and [Swift]”.
After praising the singer’s work ethic and creative process, Dessner spoke about her current ‘Eras Tour’ in North America.
“It’s just kind of… the greatest show I’ve ever seen,” the musician told NME. “Like it’s just insane. The scale of the tour.
“And the music, the visual design, the choreography and her musicianship, it’s on a level that I’ve never seen anything like. To me, it’s something to aspire to: to be that ambitious with her music.”
Dessner continued: “I think sometimes people ask me questions about working with pop stars like it’s not an honour, but it’s a total honour. I learned way more from her than she’s learned with us.”
In addition to Swift, The National enlisted Phoebe Bridgers and Sufjan Stevens to appear on ‘First Two Pages Of Frankenstein’. “I don’t think the band would have gotten this far without friends,” Dessner said of the approach of working with other artists on the record.
Meanwhile, The National recently revealed that Swift’s tracks ‘Cardigan’ and ‘Willow’ – from ‘Folklore’ and ‘Evermore’, respectively – were originally intended to be released by the band.
“I’d taken a swing at [‘Cardigan’] and ‘Willow’ and a couple of others, and I wasn’t having a lot of luck, so Aaron sent them to Taylor,” Berninger recalled.
The frontman teamed up with Swift on the ‘Evermore’ song ‘Coney Island’, which was produced by Aaron and Bryce Dessner.