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REM’s Michael Stipe scores a movie!

By | Published on Friday 6 June 2014

Michael Stipe

Pop’s fourth most famous baldie – behind Moby, Elton John and Britney circa 2007 – Michael Stipe, has revealed new material, his first, either solo or not solo, since REM split in 2011. Unless anyone’s including that time Stipe sang ‘Man On The Moon’ to some NASA astronauts back in 2011, which I’m all but convinced they aren’t.

There aren’t any real singles per say, sadly, more a kind of four-part ‘soundboard’, if you will, written as the score to bonus footage from 2013 film ‘The Cold Lands’, which is directed by Mike’s friend Tom Gilroy.

Having played keys and electronic drums on the piece, Stipe praises his collaborator on it, Andy LeMaster of the band Now It’s Overheard, like so: “I went to Andy knowing that if I painted myself into a corner, he’d pull me out – and also that he’d be more than a neutral engineer/collaborator to work with. We work really well together. This is, in fact, the first thing that I’ve done musically since REM disbanded. So, of course, I wanted it to be for something that meant a lot to me. That was important”.

And on taking on the score in the first place: “I have a pretty good sense of what people are asking me for when they ask me to participate in something musical. It’s not what I wanted to do. This is something that was actually outside of my realm of experience and something that interested me. And, you know, it wasn’t the follow up to ‘Man On The Moon’.

Um, it kind of was actually. Anyway, hear Stipe’s ‘Cold Lands’ soundtrack exclusively via Salon.