Big Red Machine, the collaborative project between Justin Vernon of Bon Iver and Aaron Dessner of The National, have released footage of an improvised, “in-progress” song called “I Can’t Be All You Got” that they performed at their Berlin PEOPLE Fest in August. The Aug. 19 performance came a few weeks before the release of their self-titled debut.
“I Can’t Be All You Got” finds Vernon and Dessner in full BRM swing. The auto-tuned vocals that have become Vernon’s trademark as of late show up as well, with varying degrees of manipulation. He sometimes sounds robotic, sometimes angelic. According to the artists, the song “was improvised on the spot.” The band says they are planning to work on it more, which is a good omen for anyone hoping for more of the uniquely affecting crossover between Vernon and Dessner.
Check out “I Can’t Be All You Got” below, along with Bon Iver and The National performances from the Paste archives, and stream Big Red Machine’s debut album here.