The Eighties-inspired song opens with Astley’s voice as looping, crunchy instrumentation leaks in. The video above features neon graphics of palm trees, cars, and vintage video games, as the lyrics flash across the screen.
Astley co-wrote and co-produced the track with Qcode’s Deron Johnson. “I’ve known Deron for years and we’ve always said we’d work on something together, and we finally have,” Astley tells Rolling Stone. “For me, the brief was that the creators wanted something to emulate the feelings and emotions of all those great Eighties TV shows where our heroes are hunting somebody down and you tune in each week to find out how close they are getting.”
Unwanted premiered last month, while the finale aired on Tuesday. It’s co-created by Kyle Shevrin and Lamorne Morris, and stars Morris and Jake Johnson as two slackers who try to catch an escaped convicted murderer for a million-dollar reward.
Last year, Astley honored the late Bill Withers with a cover of “Ain’t No Sunshine.” He’s performed other renditions in quarantine, including Post Malone’s “Better Now” and Foo Fighter’s “Everlong.” In 2019, he joined Foo Fighters onstage at Reading Festival for “Never Gonna Give You Up.“
“Sometimes you just have to find a song that’s gonna lift your spirits and put you in another place, and I’ve been doing that a lot recently with music,” he said. “One of the bands I always go to, believe it or not, is Foo Fighters.”