It’s been a while, but Pink Floyd are set to release their first new original song since 1994, “Hey Hey Rise Up.” The legendary prog rockers recorded the track in support of Ukraine as they continue to face attacks from Russia.
While the song does not mark the return of founding member Roger Waters to the band, David Gilmour and Nick Mason were joined by longtime bassist Guy Pratt and keyboardist Nitin Sawhney. Singer Andriy Khlyvnyuk of the Ukrainian band Boombox appears on the final product as well.
The track was recorded by the band last Wednesday, March 30, and features Khlyvnyuk’s vocals from his performance of the Ukrainian protest song, “The Red Viburnum in the Meadow,” which was written during World War I. Pink Floyd translated the last line of the protest song, which reads, “Hey hey rise up and rejoice,” to come up with the title for theirs.
See the clip of Khlyvnyuk singing below.
“Hey Hey Rise Up” also serves as the first original song Pink Floyd have written since their 1994 album The Division Bell. They did release an album in 2014 called The Endless River, but it was mostly instrumental and ambient music that was initially written and recorded during the sessions for The Division Bell. Gilmour and Mason revisited and reworked some of the material after the death of keyboardist Richard Wright in 2008, and they decided to release it as Pink Floyd’s final album.
“We, like so many, have been feeling the fury and the frustration of this vile act of an independent, peaceful democratic country being invaded and having its people murdered by one of the world’s major powers,” Gilmour said in a press release.
“Recently I read that Andriy had left his American tour with Boombox, had gone back to Ukraine, and joined up with the Territorial Defense,” the musician continued. “Then I saw this incredible video on Instagram, where he stands in a square in Kyiv with this beautiful gold-domed church and sings in the silence of a city with no traffic or background noise because of the war. It was a powerful moment that made me want to put it to music.”
Khlyvnyuk was in a hospital in Kyiv for a mortar shrapnel injury when he gave Gilmour his permission to use his vocal sample in the Pink Floyd track.
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