R.E.M has made a previously unreleased song available to download, with all proceeds going towards Mercy Corps’ Hurricane Dorian relief and recovery efforts in the Bahamas.
The band recorded “Fascinating” for their 2001 album “Reveal,” but cut the song at the last minute. “It’s really beautiful,” said bassist/keyboardist Mike Mills. “But it made the record too long…and something had to go.” They gave the song another go in 2004 for the album “Around the Sun,” recorded at Compass Point Studios in Nassau, the capital of the Bahamas. Again, it didn’t quite fit into the album. But now, the 2004 version — a slow ballad with an austere piano refrain, oboe and flute arrangements and synth flourishes — has finally found its place.
“I have been fortunate to spend many weeks working and playing in the Bahamas, making friends and lots of music there,” said Mills. “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.”
“The Bahamas faces a long road to recovery after this devastating hurricane,” said Neal Keny-Guyer, CEO of Mercy Corps. “We’re grateful to have R.E.M. in our global community of humanitarians, sharing their song with the world to help the people of the Bahamas recover and build back even stronger.”
“Fascinating” is available to download for a minimum donation of $2 on Bandcamp, although people are free to donate as much as they wish.
R.E.M. previously raised funds for Mercy Corps following Hurricane Katrina in 2005.