As promised earlier this week, Michael Stipe has finally, officially given this whole “solo career” thing a try, releasing his first single fully 7 years after the dissolution of R.E.M. “Your Capricious Soul” is currently available for 77 cents from michaelstipe.com—the internet’s premiere location for all officially branded Stipe-based content, and also weird-ass visuals that make it look like you’re trapped in the Michael Stipe Phantom Zone—with proceeds from the sale going to climate change group Extinction Rebellion. Or you can just click the Vimeo link to the video, but hey, c’mon: Think of the climate.
As for the song itself (one that Stipe’s played before at live gigs), it’s pretty minimalist stuff: Some synths, some lyrics about “how to serve your body,” and vocals delivered in a sort of whispered falsetto that still carries Stipe’s distinctive musical cadence. The former frontman hasn’t given any real indication whether this is the first part of some kind of more directed push out into the solo scene, noting in an accompanying statement only that “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.