For the very first time, we get to hear what a Michael Stipe solo song sounds like. Eight years after R.E.M.’s breakup, the band’s former frontman has today released his debut single, “Your Capricious Soul”.
Stipe actually premiered the song live back in May while performing a surprise opening set for Patti Smith in New York. Now, he’s made the studio version available exclusively through his website, where it can be purchased for 77 cents or downloaded for free. The release of “Your Capricious Soul” coincides with the International Rebellion climate justice protests on October 7th, and proceeds from the song will go toward Extinction Rebellion to help aid their work of non-violent protest of government inaction to the climate emergency.
In a statement, Stipe says, “I took a long break from music, and I wanted to jump back in. I love ‘Your Capricious Soul’ – it’s my first solo work. I want to add my voice to this exciting shift in consciousness. Extinction Rebellion gave me the incentive to push the release and not wait. Our relationship to the environment has been a lifelong concern, and I now feel hopeful—optimistic, even. I believe we can bring the kind of change needed to improve our beautiful planet earth, our standing and our place on it.”
“Your Capricious Soul” comes paired with a video from filmmaker Sam Taylor-Johnson. Watch the video below.
In an interview earlier this summer, Stipe said he had 18 songs “already ready.” He explained, “Now I’m writing, composing and recording all by myself and for the first time.” While fans await further word from Stipe on his next move, they can look forward to R.E.M.’s 25 anniversary deluxe reissue of Monster. That lands November 1st with a completely new mix of the LP by the original producer, Scott Litt, as well as 15 previously unreleased demos.