U2 drop new song ahead of Trump-era album rewrite | Music | DW | 31.08.2017
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U2 drop new song ahead of Trump-era album rewrite

Irish rockers U2 have delighted fans with an edgy new song titled "Blackout." The track comes a week before the lead single of their new album, which was postponed so the band could reflect on Donald Trump's presidency.

U2 at former US President Obama's 2009 inauguration (Getty Images/J. Sullivan)

U2 performed at former US President Obama's 2009 inauguration

U2 posted a video on Facebook Wednesday featuring a live-style performance of "Blackout," the first song off their upcoming album. The release followed cryptic letters showing silhouetted figures sent out to the U2 fans last week.

True to its title, "Blackout" was filmed against a black screen and is a bit rowdier and more guitar-laden than their other recent material. Variety speculated that the tune's poppy chorus could reflect U2's collaboration with Ryan Tedder from One Republic.

The stark video was likely recorded at a nightclub in Amsterdam in July, during the Europe leg of the band's current "Joshua Tree" 30th anniversary tour, reported u2gigs.com.

Bono in Paris (Picture-Alliance/AP Photo/M. Euler)

Bono and his band are known for their social activism

The song's lyrics hint at a political overtone that is expected to be more pronounced in the complete album: "Dinosaur wonders why it still walks the Earth, yeah / The meteor promises it's not gonna hurt" (...) "When the lights go out/ In the darkness where we learn to see."

Post-Trump album rewrite

"Blackout," however, is not the lead single on U2's soon-to-be-released album. That will be "You're the Best Thing About Me" and has been promised for September 6.

Read more: Joan Baez' anti-Trump song goes viral

The album, titled "Songs of Experience," is due for release in December and is the sequel to the band's 2014 disc "Songs of Innocence," which combine as a reference to a collection of poems by English poet William Blake.

While the album was initially completed last year, U2 decided to revamp it to reflect the changed political climate after Donald Trump's election upset in November 2016.

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"Once the election happened we didn't want to put out a record without having some time to evaluate what was going on and what was behind the outcome," bassist Adam Clayton told Variety in June.

As U2 frontman Bono told US late-night TV show host Jimmy Kimmel, "Everything's different now. The game has changed," since Trump was elected. 

Bono, who has been vocal about his disapproval of President Trump's plans to build a wall on the US-Mexico border, went on to express his respect for Trump voters, saying he understood their anger and frustration.

"But I don't think [President Trump] is the cure for this problem. I think he might even make it worse," continued Bono. "I don't think there is any evidence in his life that he has the people who are hardest hit in mind. That really saddens me."

U2 are currently in the US for the tail end of their "Joshua Tree" tour, marking three decades since the release of the band's America-inspired and socio-politically conscious album. The tour wraps up in late October in Latin America.


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