Hear Michael Stipe’s First New Music Since R.E.M. Broke Up

R.E.M. broke up nearly three years ago, and band members Peter Buck and Mike Mills have kept themselves busy with various smaller projects. But frontman Michael Stipe hasn’t made any music until now. Tom Gilroy, a longtime friend and collaborator of Stipe’s, has directed a new movie called The Cold Lands, and it’s out now on VOD. Gilroy has roped Stipe into putting together music for a reel of bonus footage from the film. Stipe’s three-minute backing track is incidental instrumental music, made with the Now It’s Overhead frontman Andy LeMaster, and it probably wouldn’t demand much attention if anyone else had made it. Still, it’s fascinating to hear Michael Stipe music without that voice on it. Check it out and read an interview with Stipe at Salon.