Following sporadic live appearances in 2014, hip-hop trio N.E.R.D. is officially back with its first new music in five years. The act has recorded three songs for the upcomingfilm “The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water,” due Feb. 6.
The first of the three tracks, “Squeeze Me,” is available at iTunes, Spotify and elsewhere, and the other two -- “Patrick Star” and “Sandy Squirrell” -- are slated for release in the coming weeks, according to a statement from Sony Music, which will release the film’s soundtrack.
“I am one of SpongeBob’s biggest fans,” founding member Pharrell Williams said in the same statement. “Can’t wait for everyone to hear the songs.”
“Squeeze Me” has a loping and bouncy quasi-reggae groove not unlike that of Williams’ collaborative mega-hit with Robin Thicke, “Blurred Lines.”
Shae Haley, who rounds out N.E.R.D. with Chad Hugo, said “SpongeBob and N.E.R.D. share the same belief that imagination is the key to everything.”
The project continues Williams’ love affair with animated movies for young people, following the monumental success of his single “Happy,” written for “Despicable Me 2” and nominated for an Academy Award for original song.
N.E.R.D.’s most recent album was “Nothing,” released in 2010, and the fourth of the group’s career.
Follow @RandyLewis2 on Twitter for pop music coverage