R.E.M. have shared a previously unreleased song called “Fascinating” to raise funds for hurricane relief in the Bahamas. Mike Mills and Michael Stipe recorded “Fascinating” in 2004 at Nassau’s Compass Point Studios. All proceeds will go directly to Mercy Corps’ emergency response and recovery efforts on the islands, where last week’s Hurricane Dorian caused widespread destruction and left nearly 76,000 people homeless.
“Fascinating” first appeared on the original master of R.E.M.’s 2001 album Reveal before being cut at the last minute, even though it was Stipe’s favorite song from the sessions. “It’s really beautiful,” Mills told R.E.M. biographer David Buckley. “It has a flute, oboe arrangement, but it made the record too long … and something had to go.” It was later rerecorded in Nassau for 2004’s Around The Sun but ended up getting cut again.
“Fascinating” is available to purchase on Bandcamp for a minimum donation of $2. “I have been fortunate to spend many weeks working and playing in the Bahamas, making friends and lots of music there,” Mills says. “It breaks my heart to see the damage wrought by Hurricane Dorian. Please help us and Mercy Corps do what we can to alleviate the suffering caused by this catastrophe.” Listen to “Fascinating” below.