Michael Stipe issues first new music since REM disbanded – The Guardian

Michael Stipe has revealed his first new music since REM split in 2011. The recordings accompany bonus footage for the film The Cold Lands, made by his friend Tom Gilroy.

Stipe worked in collaboration with another Athens, Georgia, musician, Andy LeMaster of the band Now It’s Overhead. “He’s a tremendous producer, he’s a tremendous person. I know I work
well with other people — to have someone to bounce something off of
works for me, and I don’t actually write music. I wrote melodies and I
tend to write along to other people’s music. That’s what I’ve done most
of my career as a musician,” Stipe told Salon.

“I went to Andy knowing that if I
painted myself into a corner, he’d pull me out — and also that he’d be
more than a neutral engineer/collaborator to work with. We work really
well together. This is, in fact, the first thing that I’ve done
musically since R.E.M disbanded. So, of course, I wanted it to be for
something that meant a lot to me. That was important.”

What Stipe has offered isn’t a song, but soundscape – you won’t hear him singing – compiled from four different song parts. Though Stipe said he “can’t play an instrument to save my life”, he played keyboards and percussion on the recording.

Hear Michael Stipe’s The Coldlands here.

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