After releasing a teaser on their Facebook page Tuesday and sending cryptic letters to random fans, U2 dropped a new song, “The Blackout,” on its Facebook page Wednesday at noon ET — although it is apparently not the real single. That is “You’re the Best Thing About Me,” which will be unveiled on Sept. 6 along with news about the group’s long awaited “Songs of Experience” album, the sequel to its 2014 release “Songs of Innocence.”
“‘The Blackout,’ just for you. From upcoming album ‘Songs of Experience,'” the post reads. “Tune in August 30th. First single, ‘You’re The Best Thing About Me’ coming Sept. 6th, along with all the album news. #U2TheBlackout#U2SongsofExperience. In the darkness where we learn to see.'”
The song, apparently recorded live, is less-polished and rowdier than the band’s recent material, although it has a poppy chorus that may bear the fingerprints of OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder, with whom the band has collaborated recently.
The band completed the album last year but felt, in the wake of Donald Trump’s election, it did not suit the changed political and social climate.
“Once the election had happened we didn’t want to put out a record without having some time to evaluate what was going on and what was behind the outcome,” bassist Adam Clayton told Variety in June. “And certainly that wave of change seemed to be moving through Europe as well, so we did say ‘Let’s reexamine where we are,’ and we did reexamine and I think it’s been better for the record and it’s been better for the songwriting and it’s much more on-message of what U2 does and what U2 does well. [“Songs of Experience”] has been ready to go for awhile, because it didn’t require a lot of surgery, so to speak — it was a little bit of cosmetic surgery.”
The band is currently wrapping its “Joshua Tree” 30th anniversary tour and are expected to tour behind the new album next year.
Listen to the song below: