Michael Stipe turned 60 today, and in celebration of the milestone birthday, the former R.E.M. frontman released his second official solo single, “Drive to the Ocean,” along with an accompanying video that he directed.
As previously reported, the track is available for purchase as a digital download for a donation of at least 77 cents exclusively at the singer’s official website, MichaelStipe.com. All earnings from the track during its first year of release will benefit Pathway to Paris, a nonprofit organization that seeks to combat climate change.
“Drive to the Ocean” is an ominous-sounding, introspective song featuring sparse piano, electronic elements, mournful lead vocals and wailing backing vocals.
The tune begins with Stipe singing, “I’ll drive through the mountains, the crumbling west/ I’ll sing like the whales before man was a pest/ Radio transistor, my friend by my side/ I’ll drive to the ocean, the ocean I’ll drive.”
The song ends with the repeated phrase, “Radio love me/ Radio ascend/ Radio the ocean/ Radio the end.”
The video features two women and a girl standing on a beach somberly staring out at the ocean, as a washed-out yellow sun glares down behind some clouds.
The download of “Drive to the Ocean” includes the track in two digital formats, as well as two versions of the video — one with lyrics and one without — plus exclusive wallpapers and a digital photo of Stipe’s original lyric document for the song.
You also can watch both versions of the “Drive to the Ocean” video at Stipe’s YouTube channel.
In the clip, Stipe jokes, “I just shaved because everyone says it takes 10 years off of me.”
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Michael’s new single “Drive to the Ocean” is available exclusively on https://t.co/RPUnPd7wy3. For 365 days, all his proceeds from the download will go to @Pathway2Paris. The exclusive bundle includes audio, video and extras. Watch the music video at: https://t.co/kyT9NR5OxR pic.twitter.com/Yk00mCRsBI
— R.E.M. HQ (@remhq) January 4, 2020