Eaux Claire, Wisconsin based experimental Indie Rock band, Big Red Machine released a cover of Aimee Mann’s 1999 song “Wise Up” for the For Wisconsin voter initiative. The For Wisconsin voter initiative is an initiative where artists from Wisconsin record songs encouraging people in Wisconsin to vote. As they write on their website “free speech and freedom begin and end with voting. If you don’t mark your ballot someone else will define your Wisconsin and your future.” Justin Vernon, a member of Big Red Machine, is even going to be speaking to a person who is not sure about voting about why voting matters.
Vernon and Aaron Dessner, the members of Big Red Machine team up with Bryce Dessner, Bryan Devendorf, Scott Devendorf, Ben Lanz, Jon Low and Mina Tindle to create this cover. The song opens with piano and strings then the vocals come in and sing the first verse. Tindle’s harmony comes in during the chorus along with a guitar. Bass and electric guitar come in during the second verse and additional harmonies during the second chorus. Drums, synthesizers, steel guitar and additional vocals enter during the bridge and final chorus before closing the song with just piano, acoustic and electric guitar.
In the accompanying video for “Wise Up” shots of a farm as well as a man driving a truck with a flag that says “For Wisconsin” on it are shown. Throughout the video a message displays that says “Text ‘VOTE’ to 55005.” The man in the truck drives down a lonely road until he passes a farm. A static shot of a heavily wooded area with falling leaves is shown after this. During the second verse and chorus of the song, shots of all the musicians featured on the track are shown as they are performing the song in the studio. As the song ends the video cuts between shots of the band in the studio and various things around Wisconsin.
Other artists who have done things to encourage people to vote or relating to the election include Ministry who wrote a song called “Git Up, Get Out ‘N Vote.” Arcade Fire who released a song called “Generation” and Heartless Bastards release a video for the song “Revolution.”