Legendary British rockers Pink Floyd got back together to release the band’s first new song in 28 years to support the humanitarian relief effort in Ukraine.
Founding member and drummer Nick Mason, guitarist David Gilmour, bassist Guy Pratt and keyboardist Nitin Sawhney released “Hey Hey Rise Up” on Thursday, which features vocals by Andriy Khlyvnyuk from the Ukrainian band Boombox.
Khlyvnyuk, who abandoned Boombox’s tour in the United States to defend his country by joining the Territorial Defense Forces, is currently recovering in a local hospital with shrapnel injuries.
He did not record the track with the band, instead they lifted his voice from an Instagram post, where he sang Red Viburnum In The Meadow, a Ukrainian protest song from WWI, in Kyiv’s Sofiyskaya Square.
Gilmour, 76, who met Boombox in 2015, was moved when he saw the “incredible” Instagram video, where Khlyvnyuk, 42, “sings in the silence of a city with no traffic or background noise because of the war. It was a powerful moment that made me want to put it to music.”
“I played him a little bit of the song down the phone line and he gave me his blessing,” Gilmour said about the singer. “We both hope to do something together in person in the future.”
The guitarist, who has a Ukrainian daughter-in-law and grandchildren, has lended the band’s help to the war-torn country by donating all proceeds from the single to aid the humanitarian relief effort.
“I hope it will receive wide support and publicity. We want to raise funds for humanitarian charities and raise morale,” Gilmour remarked. “We want to 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.”
“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,” he concluded.
Pink Floyd removed all their recordings from 1987 and beyond from music streamers in Russia and Belarus on March 11.