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Pink Floyd Says It Will Release New Track to Support Ukraine

todayApril 8, 2022

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Pink Floyd, the 1970s psychedelic rock band, is releasing its first new track in almost three decades on Friday to raise money for the people of Ukraine, the band said on Thursday.

The recording, “Hey Hey Rise Up,” is a reworking of a protest song from World War I and features the Ukrainian rock star Andriy Khlyvnyuk of the band Boombox.

Mr. Khlyvnyuk was on tour in the United States when the war started and returned to Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, to enlist in his country’s army. The vocals on the Pink Floyd track come from a viral video the Ukrainian singer posted three days into the war of himself clad in combat gear, carrying a rifle and singing a Ukrainian protest anthem in Kyiv’s Sofiyskaya Square.

The anthem, “The Red Viburnum in the Meadow,” was written during World War I and has been sung at Ukrainian solidarity rallies around the world since Russia’s invasion. Pink Floyd gives it a soaring rock treatment, with David Gilmour providing an anguished guitar solo and Nick Mason’s steady drums driving it forward. Guy Pratt plays bass and Nitin Sawhney adds keyboard. Roger Waters, who left the group in 1985, was not involved.

The anthem’s last line, “Hey, hey, rise up and rejoice,” was the inspiration for the track’s title. Proceeds from its sale will go to the Ukraine Humanitarian Fund.

Mr. Gilmour said Mr. Khlyvnyuk gave his blessing for the song from the hospital where he is recovering from a mortar shrapnel injury.

Mr. Gilmour described coming to know Mr. Khlyvnyuk in 2015, when Boombox backed him at a show in support of a persecuted Belarusian theater group.

Both Pink Floyd and Mr. Gilmour, who has Ukrainian family members, pulled their music from digital providers in Russia and Belarus in March and said they stood with the world in “strongly condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.”

The move was one of several solidarity efforts from the music industry in recent weeks. The Grammy Awards last week featured remarks from President Volodymyr Zelensky and performances from the Ukrainian singer Mika Newton and the poet Lyuba Yakimchuk, who recently fled the country.

In March, a benefit concert featuring stars including Ed Sheeran and Camila Cabello reportedly raised $17.6 million.

Original story from https://www.nytimes.com

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