Pink Floyd have recorded their first piece of new music in decades, as bandmates David Gilmour and Nick Mason have come together to release ‘Hey Hey Rise Up’. Proceeds from the single and video will go to Ukraine Humanitarian Relief. Fleshing out the song is keyboardist Nitin Sawhney, who filled in for the deceased Richard Wright. Bassist Guy Pratt, who tours with Mason as part of Saucerful of Secrets, also contributed to the track.
“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 admitted, detailing the importance of the track. Furthermore, Gilmour’s daughter-in-law considers herself Ukrainian, making it a deeply personal topic for the guitar player.
The composition was recorded at Gilmour’s barn, utilising recordings of Andriy Khlyvnyuk singing ‘The Red Viburnum In The Meadow’ in a desolate part of Sofiyskaya Square in Kyiv. The recording was initially uploaded to Instagram, channelling Gilmour’s muse. The band got their title from the final verse of ‘The Red Viburnum In The Meadow’, which roughly translates into English as ‘Hey Hey Rise up and rejoice’.
Gilmour has form in the area, having performed on the same bill as Pussy Riot at Koko in 2015. Khlyvnyuk was supposed to appear with Boombox on the night, but couldn’t due to visa problems, so Gilmour sang ‘Wish You Were Here’ in his absence. Gilmour heard that the singer had left America for Ukraine, and was deeply moved by his “incredible video”, which prompted the guitarist to create a full band version of the track.
Pink Floyd aren’t the only British songwriters who have responded to the conflict in Ukraine. The Police’s Sting re-recorded ‘Russians’ to emphasise his disdain for the war, while Sir Paul McCartney uploaded a photo of himself carrying the Ukrainian flag in an effort to drum up support for the country. Gothic rockers The Cure have announced details of a new charity band T-shirt that provides support for Ukraine amidst the ongoing armed conflict.
The Pink Floyd song will be available soon.