Michael Stipe celebrated his 60th birthday Saturday with the release of “Drive to the Ocean,” the former R.E.M. singer’s second new song in three months following a long musical dormancy. Stipe also shared the video he directed for his second-ever solo single.
Like his previous track “Your Capricious Soul,” Stipe again partnered with a non-profit organization combatting climate change for the release of “Drive to the Ocean,” which is available exclusively to download via Stipe’s site with all proceeds for the first year benefitting Pathway to Paris.
“I am so happy to collaborate with Pathway To Paris for this year 2020. The work that they are doing is vital and foundational— it is essential for a future that we can and will claim as our own,” the newly shaven Stipe said in a statement.
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
Stipe has a long association with the Jesse Paris Smith co-founded Pathway to Paris, a non-profit that aims at “turning the Paris Agreement into reality through innovative public engagement, cultural events, supporting citizen driven initiatives and cities in developing and implementing ambitious climate action plans.”
Despite being largely musically inactive since the breakup of R.E.M., Stipe has frequently performed at Pathway to Paris benefit shows, including an April 2019 gig at New York’s Museum of Natural History where he debuted “Drive to the Ocean” live.
“From a very young age I attached our enlightened and active progress as humans to an ability to fix our own problems. Our most noble goal is to encourage and secure sustainable energy sources; and to support–rather than lessen– Gaia, our home that we share with so many different species, life energies, and life forces,” Stipe added.
“My attraction to Pathway is in seeing a younger generation approach these concerns with renewed vigor and interest, in turn inspiring each of us to deepen our commitment and resolve towards a better future for all.”
Downloads of “Drive to the Ocean” at Stipe’s site include both the audio and music video of the single as well as bonus material.