One brief song-snippet aside, Michael Stipe hasn’t released any music since his band R.E.M. broke up in 2011. That changes today. A few months ago, Stipe performed new solo songs called “Your Capricious Soul” and “Drive To The Ocean” during a surprise opening set for Patti Smith, and he reportedly has at least 16 other tracks ready to go. Today, to coincide with the “International Rebellion” climate justice protests this week, he’s sharing his official debut solo single.
That would be “Your Capricious Soul,” one of the songs he debuted back in May. Although it won’t be on any of the major streaming platforms, at least immediately, it is available for a pay-what-you-want donation (or for free) on Stipe’s website. The download comes with master-quality audio version of the song, its accompanying video by Sam Taylor-Johnson, a lyric sheet, a print-ready poster, a stencil, and an animated flip-book portrait. For the next 365 days, all proceeds from the song will go to Extinction Rebellion.
“I took a long break from music, and I wanted to jump back in,” Stipe says in a statement. “I love ‘Your Capricious Soul’ — it’s my first solo work. I want to add my voice to this exciting shift in consciousness. Extinction Rebellion gave me the incentive to push the release and not wait. Our relationship to the environment has been a lifelong concern, and I now feel hopeful—optimistic, even. I believe we can bring the kind of change needed to improve our beautiful planet earth, our standing and our place on it.”
Watch and listen below