Pink Floyd Releasing First New Song In 28 Years To Benefit Ukraine

Matthew Eisman/Getty Images

Pink Floyd Releasing First New Song In 28 Years To Benefit Ukraine

Matthew Eisman/Getty Images

A new Pink Floyd song will be out at midnight tonight. As The Guardian reports, “Hey Hey, Rise Up!” was inspired by a video of Andriy Khlyvnyuk, singer for the Ukrainian band BoomBox, singing the century-old Ukrainian protest song “Oh, The Red Viburnum In The Meadow” in military fatigues outside St. Sofia Cathedral in Kyiv. Floyd guitarist and singer David Gilmour, who teamed with BoomBox for a 2015 performance in London benefitting Belarus Free Theatre, was inspired. He ended up sampling the recording of Khlyvnyuk, turning it into the first new Pink Floyd track in 28 years.

“Hey, wait a minute,” you might be thinking. “Didn’t Pink Floyd release a new album eight years ago?” It’s true that The Endless River dropped in 2014, but it comprised mostly instrumental outtakes from 1994’s Columbia House Music Club staple The Division Bell. “Hey Hey, Rise Up!” marks the first time Gilmour has written a new Floyd song since the Division Bell sessions. He tracked it at a recording session last week with Nick Mason on drums, Guy Pratt on bass, and composer Nitin Sawhney on keyboards. The late Rick Wright’s daughter Gala also attended the session. They also shot a video featuring a painting by Ukrainian artist Maria Primachenko on Mason’s drums.

Founding member Roger Waters, who left the band in 1985 but continues to play classic Pink Floyd material on tour, was not involved. Pink Floyd “reunited” with Waters to condemn Israel in 2016.

Gilmour told The Guardian how they decided to release the new song under the Pink Floyd name:

I rang Nick up and said: “Listen, I want to do this thing for Ukraine. I’d be really happy if you played on it and I’d also be really happy if you’d agree to us putting it out as Pink Floyd.” And he was absolutely on for that.

It’s Pink Floyd if it’s me and Nick, and that is the biggest promotional vehicle; that is, as I said, the platform that I’ve been working on for my whole adult life, since I was 21. I wouldn’t do this with many more things, but it’s so vitally, vitally important that people understand what’s going on there and do everything within their power to change that situation. And the thought, also, that mine and Pink Floyd’s support of the Ukrainians could help boost morale in those areas: they need to know the whole world supports them.

He also spoke about tracking down Khlyvnyuk to approve the sample:

He wanted to speak on FaceTime — I think he wanted to be sure it was me. The next time I saw him, he was in hospital, having been injured by a mortar. He showed me this tiny quarter-inch piece of shrapnel that had embedded itself in his cheek. He’d kept it in a plastic bag. But you can imagine, if those kind of things are going off, it could just as easily have been a piece over an inch across, which would have taken his head off.

Last month Gilmour showed his support for Ukraine by removing Pink Floyd’s post-Waters material from streaming services in Russia and Belarus.

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