Pink Floyd are to release their first new music since 1994’s The Division Bell tomorrow (April 8).
From midnight tonight, “Hey Hey Rise Up”, a song in support of the people of Ukraine, will be available to listen to here.
It marks the first completely new collaboration between David Gilmour and Nick Mason under the Floyd name for 28 years.
The track, which also features Guy Pratt and Nitin Sawhney, was recorded just last week, on March 30, and is a collaboration with Ukrainian singer Andriy Khlyvnyuk of Boombox. The song takes a snippet of Khlyvnyuk’s performance of the Ukrainian folk/protest song “The Red Viburnum In The Meadow” from a recent Instagram post.
“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,” says David Gilmour. “I hope it will receive wide support and publicity. We want to raise funds for humanitarian charities, and raise morale. We want express our support for Ukraine and in that way, show that most of the world thinks that it is totally wrong for a superpower to invade the independent democratic country that Ukraine has become.”
Gilmour also explained how the collaboration came about: “In 2015, I played a show at Koko in London in support of the Belarus Free Theatre, whose members have been imprisoned. Pussy Riot and the Ukrainian band, Boombox, were also on the bill. They were supposed to do their own set, but their singer Andriy had visa problems, so the rest of the band backed me for my set – we played Wish You Were Here for Andriy that night.
“Recently I read that Andriy had left his American tour with Boombox, had gone back to Ukraine, and joined up with the Territorial Defense. 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 has been injured during fighting, but was able to hear the track from his hospital bed. “I played him a little bit of the song down the phone line,” says Gilmour, “and he gave me his blessing. We both hope to do something together in person in the future.”
The video, directed by Mat Whitecross, was also filmed on March 30 at Gilmour’s barn.