Pink Floyd has released their first ever music in decades to support the Ukrainian rescue effort. The new song, titled ‘Hey, Hey, Rise Up,’ uses a sample of Ukrainian band Boombox’s singer, Andriy Khlyvnyuk and is the band’s first original music since their 1994 album ‘The Division Bell.’ The song’s revenues will be donated to Ukraine Humanitarian Relief.
According to a press statement, Pink Floyd recorded ‘Hey, Hey, Rise Up’ on 30th March this year. Watch the music video directed by Mat Whitecross:
Talking about the new single in a statement, Gilmour said: “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.”
The singer, who hails from a Ukrainian family, added: “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.”
Discussing the creation of the single, Gilmour added: “We recorded the track and video in our barn where we did all our Von Trapped Family live streams during lockdown. It’s the same room that we did the ‘Barn Jams’ with Rick Wright back in 2007. Janina Pedan made the set in a day and we had Andriy singing on the screen while we played, so the four of us had a vocalist, albeit not one who was physically present with us.”
Gilmour also mentioned that he had performed with Khlyvnyuk’s band in 2015 as part of a benefit concert for the Belarus Free Theatre, and that the singer was in the middle of a US tour with Boombox when he returned to his motherland to fight the Russians in February.
Khlyvnyuk is sampled on ‘Hey, Hey, Rise Up!’ singing the patriotic Ukrainian anthem ‘The Red Viburnum’ on Kyiv’s Sofiyskaya Square, which was captured in a viral Instagram video recently shared to Gilmour.
Image Courtesy: Stereogum
“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,” Gilmour said. “It was a powerful moment that made me want to put it to music.”
“I thought: that is pretty magical and maybe I can do something with this,” Gilmour told the Guardian of the footage in a new interview about the comeback. “I’ve got a big platform that [Pink Floyd] have worked on for all these years. It’s a really difficult and frustrating thing to see this extraordinarily crazy, unjust attack by a major power on an independent, peaceful, democratic nation. The frustration of seeing that and thinking ‘what the fuck can I do?’ is sort of unbearable.”
Following his injuries incurred during the battle, Gilmour was able to talk from his hospital bed. “I played him a little bit of the song down the phone line and he gave me his blessing,” he said. “We both hope to do something together in person in the future.”
To show their support for Ukraine, Pink Floyd and David Gilmour withdrew their music from streaming sites in Russia and Belarus last month.
Writing on Twitter, Pink Floyd said: “To stand with the world in strongly condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the works of Pink Floyd, from 1987 onwards, and all of David Gilmour’s solo recordings are being removed from all digital music providers in Russia an Belarus from today.”
Gilmour added: “Russian soldiers, stop killing your brothers. There will be no winners in this war. My daughter in law is Ukrainian and my granddaughters want to visit and know their beautiful country. Stop this before it is all destroyed.”