While R.E.M. has already previewed its fifteenth studio album “Collapse Into Now” with the release of lead track “Discoverer” last month, a new collaboration with Pearl Jam‘s Eddie Vedder has hit the web. “It Happened Today,” the powerful fifth track from the album, leaked online last night and can be heard here.
“This is not a parable, this is a terrible/This is a terrible thing,” Michael Stipe sings in a defeated voice at the top of the track, which relies on a soothing mix of acoustic guitar and restrained percussion. Vedder later joins Stipe for some wordless belting at the song’s conclusion, creating a vocal harmony that ends “It Happened Today” on an anthemic note.
The members of R.E.M. have long been friends with Pearl Jam and its frontman: Vedder has joined the trio onstage at multiple R.E.M. performances, and the singer inducted the veteran group into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007. Patti Smith, Peaches and guitarist Lenny Kaye are also set to appear on “Collapse Into Now,” due on Mar. 8 of next year.
R.E.M. also posted a trailer for “Collapse Into Now” on the band’s website yesterday. The clip shows Stipe, guitarist Peter Buck and bassist Mike Mills performing a handful of new songs from the Jacknife Lee-produced album, including the epic “All the Best” and contemplative “Me, Marlon Brando, Marlon Brando and I.”