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Michael Stipe, Big Red Machine Drop ‘No Time for Love Like Now’ Video

Merch proceeds will be donated to the Equal Justice Initiative and the COVID-19 Protest Fund

Michael Stipe has officially released his stunning new song “No Time for Love Like Now” with Big Red Machine, a collaboration between the National’s Aaron Dessner and Justin Vernon of Bon Iver.

Written by Stipe and Dessner, the clip features the former R.E.M. singer in a white v-neck shirt, singing into a microphone. “No time for breezy/No time for arguments/No time for love like now,” he sings, as Dessner strums the acoustic guitar. “Here’s no time in the bardo/No time in the in-between/No time for love like now.”

Dessner produced the track, while his brother, Bryce Dessner, orchestrated it. Vernon supplied electric guitar. According to Dessner, “No Time for Love Like Now” is one of the 20 new songs 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,” he tells Rolling Stone. “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,” he continued. “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.”

Stipe previously dropped a demo of the track, followed by a similar performance on the Late Show With Stephen Colbert from his home in quarantine. “I’m super excited to work with Aaron Dessner,” he said in a statement.  “And I’m thrilled with how the song and lyrics landed. The title says it all.”

Stipe also designed merch for the new song; proceeds will be donated directly to the Equal Justice Initiative and the COVID-19 Protest Fund.