Pink Floyd will release the group’s first new music in 28 years in support of Ukraine

Pink Floyd will release new music on Friday for the first time in 28 years, all for the benefit of the people of Ukraine. The new track features vocals by Ukrainian rock star Andriy Khlyvnyuk

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Pink Floyd will release the group’s first new music in 28 years to support the people of Ukraine.

Tomorrow (Friday) the group will release their new single “Hey Hey Rise Up” – the first original music they recorded together as a band since 1994’s “The Division Bell”.

David Gilmour, 76, and Nick Mason, 78, were joined on keyboards by longtime Pink Floyd bassist Guy Pratt, 60, and Nitin Sawhney, 57, during a secret recording session last Wednesday.

The new track features vocals by Ukrainian rock star Andriy Khlyvnyuk of the band Boombox, who has ended his US tour to return home and fight for his country.

His vocals come from an Instagram post in which he sings the war protest song The Red Viburnum In The Meadow, which was filmed in Kyiv’s Sofiyskaya Square.

David Gilmour, Roger Waters, Nick Mason and Rick Wright of the band Pink Floyd on stage at Live 8 London in 2005

The title of the new track comes from the last line of the song, which translates to “Hey Hey, rise and rejoice.” Proceeds from the track will benefit the Humanitarian Relief Fund of Ukraine.

Singer and guitarist Andriy chatted with David from his hospital bed in Kyiv, where he is being treated for shrapnel injuries.

“I played him a bit of the song on the phone and he gave me his blessing,” says David. “We both hope to do something together personally in the future.”

David has a Ukrainian daughter-in-law and grandchildren – his son Charlie is married to Janina Pedan and the couple have two daughters together.

David says: “We, like so many, have felt the anger and frustration at this heinous act of an independent, peaceful, democratic country being invaded and its people murdered by one of the greatest powers in the world.”

Regarding the track, he adds: “I hope it will get widespread support and publicity. We want to raise funds for humanitarian charities and raise morale. We want to express our support for Ukraine and in this way show that most of the world thinks that it is completely wrong for a superpower to invade the independent democratic country that Ukraine has become.”

Guy Pratt, Nick Mason and Gary Kemp of Nick Mason’s Saucerful of Secrets perform at L’Olympia on September 10, 2018 in Paris, France

The video for Hey Hey Rise Up was also filmed last Wednesday, directed by Mat Whitecross.

David explained: “We recorded the track and video in our barn where we did all our Von Trapped Family live streams during lockdown. It’s the same room where we did the “Barn Jams” with Rick Wright in 2007.

Janina Pedan did the set in one day and we had Andriy sing on screen while we played, so the four of us had a singer, although not one who was physically with us.”

The artwork for the spread features a painting of a sunflower – the national flower of Ukraine – by Cuban artist Yosan Leon.

Pink Floyd performed in Hyde Park in 2005

It refers to a woman who gave Russian soldiers sunflower seeds and told them to carry them in their pockets so sunflowers would grow when they died.

Pink Floyd’s David went on to explain how he first met Andriy and his band Boombox.

He said: “In 2015 I did a show at the Koko in London in support of the Belarus Free Theatre, whose members were imprisoned. Pussy Riot and the Ukrainian band Boombox were also on the program.

They were supposed to do their own set but their singer Andriy had visa problems so the rest of the band supported me for my set – we played Wish You Were Here for Andriy that night.

“Recently I read that Andriy left his American tour with Boombox, returned to Ukraine and joined the Territorial Defense.

Then I saw this incredible video on Instagram where he is standing in a square in Kyiv with this beautiful church with the golden dome and singing 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 set it to music.”

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