LONDON (AP) — Pink Floyd is releasing its first new music in nearly three decades to raise money for the people of Ukraine, the band announced Thursday.
“Hey Hey Rise Up” features Pink Floyd members David Gilmour and Nick Mason, with vocals from Ukrainian singer Andriy Khlyvnyuk of BoomBox. Roger Waters, who left the band in the 1980s, is not involved.
The track features Khlyvnyuk singing a patriotic Ukrainian song from a clip he recorded outside Saint Sophia’s Cathedral in Kyiv and posted on social media.
Gilmour, who performed with BoomBox in London in 2015, said the video was “a powerful moment that made me want to put it to music”.
After the Russian invasion, Khlyvnyuk interrupted a tour of the United States to return to Ukraine and join a territorial defense unit.
Gilmour said he spoke to Khlyvnyuk, who was recovering in a hospital from a mortar shrapnel wound, while writing the song. He said: “I played him a bit of the song over the phone line and he gave me his blessing. We both hope to do something together in person in the future.
The song is released on Friday and the band says the proceeds will go to the Ukrainian Humanitarian Aid Fund.
“We want to express our support for Ukraine, and thus show that most of the world thinks it is totally wrong for a superpower to invade the independent democratic country that Ukraine has become,” Gilmour said.
Pink Floyd was founded in London in the mid-1960s and helped shape the UK psychedelic scene before releasing influential 1970s albums including ‘The Dark Side of the Moon’, ‘Wish You Were Here’ and ‘The Wall”.
Original member Waters quit in 1985 and the remaining members of Pink Floyd recorded together for the last time for the 1994 album “The Division Bell”. After keyboardist Richard Wright died in 2008, Gilmour said he doubted Pink Floyd would ever perform together again.
“Hey Hey Rise Up” also features Guy Pratt on bass and Nitin Sawhney on keyboards.