Pink Floyd’s new track “Hey Hey Rise Up” will be released on Friday in solidarity with the people of Ukraine, according to a statement released by the band on Thursday.
It’s the band’s first new music since 1994, and all earnings will benefit Ukrainian humanitarian help, according to the statement.
According to the announcement, guitarist David Gilmour and drummer Nick Mason perform the tune, which also features bassist Guy Pratt and keyboardist Nitin Sawhney. Andriy Khlyvnyuk of the Ukrainian band Boombox contributes vocals to the song.
The band used recordings of Khlyvnyuk singing in central Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital, where he delivered “a stirring Ukrainian protest song penned during the first world war that has been taken up across the world in protest” against the Russian invasion during the past month.
In a statement, Gilmour said he was impressed by Khlyvnyuk’s performance “in a square in Kyiv with this lovely gold-domed cathedral and… in the calm of a city with no traffic or background noise due of the war.” Gilmour has a Ukrainian daughter-in-law and grandchildren.
He explained, “It was a profound experience that made me want to put it to music.” The Ukrainian singer, who quit the band to join the army, is in the hospital after being struck by shrapnel, according to Pink Floyd.
“We, like so many others, have been appalled and frustrated by this heinous act of an independent, peaceful, democratic country being invaded and its people massacred by one of the world’s main powers,” Gimour added.
“We want to show the world that the majority of the world believes it is completely wrong for a superpower to invade the independent democratic republic that Ukraine has become.” The single’s artwork includes a depiction of a sunflower, Ukraine’s national flower, which the band claims are a “direct reference” to the elderly woman who was observed offering sunflower seeds to Russian soldiers.
The band’s first original music in 28 years is “Hey Hey Rise Up.” The band released “The Endless River” in 2014, which was mostly ambient and instrumental music based on recordings recorded during “The Division Bell” in 1994.