The song, which he’s been playing at concerts in recent months, is called “Your Capricious Soul” and will be released on his website, MichaelStipe.com, with the 77-cent download price to benefit the climate-change-awareness group Extinction Rebellion. The song will also be available for free download, and will appear on streaming services at a future unspecified date, according to the announcement. A video directed by filmmaker Sam Taylor-Johnson will be released along with the single.
“I took a long break from music, and I wanted to jump back in,” Stipe wrote in the post. “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.”
Stipe told the Italian newspaper La Repubblica (via Spin) earlier this year that he has an album’s worth of material. “Eighteen songs are already ready,” he said. “For five years, I’d had a clean break from music. Now I’m writing, composing, and recording all by myself and for the first time.”
Stipe performed “Your Capricious Soul” in New York earlier this year during his opening spot for Patti Smith — watch below.