News, New Release & Festival: Justin Vernon & The National – PEOPLE

Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon and The National’s Aaron and Bryce Dessner have this week announced details of a brand new listening platform – PEOPLE – along with some new tracks recorded under the moniker of Big Red Machine

The home page of PEOPLE offers further details…

‘We are a steadily growing group of artists, freely creating and sharing our work with each other and everyone. We call it PEOPLE. It was born of a wish to establish an independent and nurturing space in which to make work (generally around music) that is collaborative, spontaneous and expressive in nature and where all unnecessary distractions or obstacles that get in the way are removed. PEOPLE is for the benefit and development of the artists involved and just as importantly, for those who would like to access and enjoy the output. It is as much about the process of making work and showing all that openly, as the final outcome’

What’s more, their fun if not rather bitty website, full of links to new music, streams and radio stations, includes songs from the likes of This Is The KitLisa Hannigan, The Dessner’s project Red Bird Hollow and previously unreleased Vernon tracks. We implore you to take a good look around, but for now, kick things things off with Big Red Machine, as well as a stunning cover of Leonard Cohen’s Memories, featuring several artists including Sufjan Stevens and The National’s frontman, Matt Berninger

Vernon and the Dessner bros. have also announced a Berlin residency and festival – details below…

‘This August 12th to 20th we will come together in Berlin for a week-long residency. On the 18/19th August, the doors will open for two days of public performances, where we share our findings across 7 Stages of the Funkhaus. It’s about new material, collaborations, unique arrangements and dissolving borders. The Funkhaus, built in the 1950’s, is the historic site of the radio and recording HQ of the former East German Republic. It’s a maze of studios of varying sizes and allows for an unrivalled sound quality in performance as well as a wide range of audience numbers. One of the aspects of this event is that no timetable will be communicated. The aim is to provide a situation where an audience member will not know what they are going to see until they sit down and the lights come up. With this arises the possibility to be genuinely surprised, moved, or opened up to something new. It liberates the artist and audience alike from preconception or expectation.

Building on these physical encounters, we want to create a place to evolve and share ideas around the year. That’s why we are in the process of building our own digital platform where the music from recordings, sessions and live events as well as visual art, podcasts and essays can find a home. For all the raw, the unpackaged, the experiments and the evolved ideas. Just like the gathering, this too is an artist-led, independent environment which uniquely offers the opportunity to the contributors to provide all the rich context to all their work that appears there. Everything is available for free, though the audience is invited to become contributing members from August on, when the platform officially launches during the PEOPLE gathering in Berlin.

This event will be free of sponsorship or any commercial interest. The artists do not receive any fees to be there and 100% of ticket costs go to covering the costs of staging it. Capacity will be around 5000.’

For further info, head over to



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