The National’s Aaron Dessner was ‘excited and honored’ to collaborate with Taylor Swift in the songwriting process of her forthcoming album ‘folklore.’ Here are 5 things you should know about him!
Among the many collaborators and “musical heroes” featured on Taylor Swift‘s eighth studio album, folklore, is The National songwriter and member Aaron Dessner. The lauded musician and record producer, 44, described in a statement posted on social media that he was “excited and honored when Taylor approached me in late April about maybe writing some songs remotely together.” Aaron had been isolating, like Taylor, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and the two worked out a system to create new music and lyrics for 11 tracks on her upcoming album, which drops at midnight tonight! Here are five things you should know about Aaron Dessner.
1) Aaron has described how “inspired” he was by Taylor. Taylor came to Aaron in April with the idea to collaborate on a number of her tracks from folklore. During their songwriting process, Aaron recalled in a note he posted on social media how he “had been isolating with my family but writing a ton of music in the first months of quarantine,” which he shared with Taylor.
“But a few hours after sharing music, my phone lit up with a voice memo from Taylor of a fully written version of a song — the momentum never really stopped.” Aaron went on to praise Taylor, saying, “I’ve rarely been so inspired by someone and it’s still hard to believe this even happened — these songs came together in such a challenging time.”
2) Aaron also recruited his brother and a fellow The National band member to help out. Once the album began to take shape, Aaron shared in his above statement that he recruited his fellow The National band member Bryan Devendorf and his brother Bryce Dessner to add more. On their contributions, Aaron said they added “beautiful orchestration on several songs from across the ocean” — where they were quarantining in the world.
3) He’s been a member of The National for nearly two decades. After their first band broke up, Bryan asked Aaron and his brother, Bryce, to start a new band in the late ’90s. The National is comprised of the Dessner brothers, Bryan and his brother, Scott Devendorf, and a fifth band member, Matt Berninger. The band’s first, self-titled album was released in 2001. They have released seven albums since.
4) Aaron has a working relationship with another Taylor Swift collaborator. Aaron is the co-founder of the group Big Red Machine. The group formed in 2016 along with another of Taylor’s recent collaborators Justin Vernon, the frontman for the group Bon Iver. Bon Iver is featured on the track “exile,” and co-wrote the song with her.
5) He’s a Grammy Award-winning artist. With The National, Aaron has won a single Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Album for Sleep Well Beast in 2017. Now that he has collaborated with Taylor, there’s bound to be more gold for the talented songwriter and multi-instrumental musician in the future.