When Taylor Swift dropped Folklore amid the COVID-19 pandemic, serving fans with an entirely new folky-alternative sound, listeners were quick to zone in on album collaborator Aaron Dessner. As Swfities gear up for more music from the “Lavender Haze” songstress, many want to learn more about Aaron and his career.

Who Is Aaron Dessner?

Aaron is a musician and producer best known as a founding member of The National, a rock band that he has recorded nine studio albums with. Aaron is also the cofounder of Big Red Machine, an indie-rock band consisting of himself and Bon Iver (a.k.a. Justin Vernon). With so much alternative and folly experience under his belt, it’s no wonder that Taylor wanted to collaborate with Aaron for two of her studio albums (and three, once The Tortured Poets Department is released in April 2024).

How Did Taylor Swift and Aaron Dessner Meet?

Before Aaron was a collaborator of Taylor’s, he could count her as a fan of The National. The two first crossed paths in 2014 during a Saturday Night Live episode, and reunited again in 2019 at a National concert. Taylor was vocal with her admiration regarding Aaron’s musicality and songwriting, and things – as Swifities know – blossomed from there.

What Albums Have Taylor Swift and Aaron Dessner Collaborated On?

Taylor and Aaron first teamed up for Folklore, the songstress’ first foray into the alternative and folky music scene, and additionally worked alongside longtime Taylor collaborator Jack Antonoff. Due to the pandemic, the three largely worked remotely, communicating with one another via video and recording the album separately.

Who Is Your Favorite Collaborator on Taylor Swift’s TTPD?

“After Taylor asked if I would be interested in writing with her remotely and working on songs, I said, ‘Are you interested in a certain kind of sound?’ She said, ‘I’m just interested in what you do and what you’re up to,’” Aaron told Vulture of their work style. “I sent [the file] at 9 p.m., and around 2 a.m. or something, there was “cardigan,” fully written. That’s when I realized something crazy was happening. She just dialed directly into the heart of the music and wrote an incredible song and fully conceived of it and then kept going.”

The release of Folklore sent fans – old and new – into a kind of frenzy, but it wasn’t until Disney+’s Folklore: The Long Pond Studio Sessions that the trio united for the first time to play the album in person. Taylor, Aaron and Jack rounded out the Folklore era with a Grammy win for Album of the Year, making Taylor the first woman to win three times.

Aaron Dessner
Kevin Winter/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

Taylor and Aaron teamed up shortly thereafter for Evermore, the surprise album that was Folklore’s sister. Aaron’s The National, as well as Bon Iver and Haim, all contributed to the album and offered listeners an additional foray into the cottagecore-rooted world Taylor created. Singles from the album included “Willow” and “Coney Island” with the latter featuring Aaron heavily.

Swifties are preparing themselves as of publication for Taylor and Aaron’s third round of collaborative tracks, as he is a featured part of the production team behind The Tortured Poets Department, Taylor’s 11th studio album, set to drop on April 19, 2024.