For their fifteenth studio album Collapse Into Now (out March 7), R.E.M. tapped a top roster of guest collaborators, including Patti Smith, Peaches, Lenny Kaye, and Eddie Vedder. The track "It Happened Today," featuring the Pearl Jam frontman, leaked online last night. Head here to hear it.
Mike Mills recently gave SPIN the inside scoop on the record, calling it a "more expansive" and "very personal" collection of tunes. Indeed: "It Happened Today" is a bright, anthemic ballad, featuring frontman Michael Stipe crooning warm, uplifting lyrics like "It happened today - hooray!" Vedder's vocals don't come in until the end but his wordless howling is definitely a nice, subtle addition.
Expect the rest of the album to have a similarly relaxed vibe. R.E.M. cut it all over the world (Berlin, Nashville, New Orleans) instead of finishing it in one marathon session. "It's also fun for us to go to the cities we really love and spend some time," Mills told SPIN. "It's really important to go out, get great food, shrug off the debris of the day, and just be friends and have a good time. In Berlin you drink beer and eat wurst. In New Orleans you eat Cajun food and drink Sazerac. In Nashville we ate a lot of fried chicken."
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