Justin Vernon and the Dessner brothers of The National have always been prolific, popping up with all manner of side-projects, production credits and demo tapes across their careers. The trio are now hosting a two-day festival called PEOPLE in the Funkhaus in Berlin this August, with over 150 artists already signed up to take part.
In advance of the festival, the collective have set up a new website, serving as an independent streaming platform for music from the trio and an astonishing number of related artists, and those performing at the PEOPLE festival.
“We are a steadily growing group of artists, freely creating and sharing our work with each other and everyone,” says a statement on the website. “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.”
Featuring music from the Dessner brothers, recorded in hotel room around the world while on tour, a new EP from Justin Vernon and Aaron Dessner’s ‘Big Red Machine’ project, featuring Phoebe Bridgers, Lisa Hannigan, Arcade Fire’s Richard Reed Parry and more, and new instrumental tapes from The National among others, it’s a treasure trove of unheard delights.
The amount of music on the PEOPLE platform is quite intimidating, so we’ve headed through the masses of unheard material and picked out our seven favourite new releases buried within.