Watch the harrowing music video for Pink Floyd’s reunion tribute to Ukraine
With “Hey Hey Rise Up,” famed psychedelic rock band Pink Floyd has reunited to release its first song in almost three decades in support of a Ukrainian singer’s “message of resistance.”
The song, which raises money for the Ukraine Humanitarian Relief Fund, was released Thursday and its harrowing music video features footage from the war-torn nation that was invaded by Russia in February.
The anthem-like track features Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour and Nick Mason, as well as vocals from Ukrainian singer Andriy Khlyvnyuk of the band BoomBox, with which Gilmour performed in London in 2015 for a benefit show for the Belarus Free Theatre.
Guy Pratt plays bass and Nitin Sawhney plays keyboards on the track. However, Roger Waters, who famously left the pioneering U.K. band in 1985, was not involved in the project.
Khlyvnyuk ended a U.S. tour early to return to Ukraine to join a territorial defense unit. Decked out in military gear, the lone musician sang a patriotic folk song called “The Red Viburnum in the Meadow” in front of Kyiv’s St. Sophia Cathedral and posted a clip on Instagram. Gilmour said it was “a powerful moment that made me want to put it to music,” according to the Associated Press.
“The Red Viburnum” is a protest song dating back to World War I and has become a rallying cry among Ukrainians since this year’s Russian invasion, the BBC reported.
U.N. votes to suspend Russia from its Human Rights Council and the European Union bans Russian coal as Ukraine’s leader calls for more military aid.
Khlyvnyuk’s emotional clip plays throughout the song’s music video, which also shares his backstory, as Pink Floyd performs. It also includes footage of explosions, military operations, protesting and displaced Ukrainians, children singing and even the heartbreaking viral footage of a man saying goodbye to his young daughter through tears.
Gilmour said he spoke to Khlyvnyuk while he was writing the song and while Khlyvnyuk was recovering in a hospital from a mortar shrapnel injury.
“I played him a little bit of the song down the phone line, and he gave me his blessing. We both hope to do something together in person in the future,” he told AP.
At least 52 civilians are reported killed and about 100 others wounded in a strike in eastern Ukraine, where Russia is now concentrating its forces.
Gilmour said that the band wanted to show its support for Ukraine and “show that most of the world thinks that it is totally wrong for a superpower to invade the independent democratic country that Ukraine has become.”
Founded in London in the 1960s, Pink Floyd went on to release the influential 1970s albums “The Dark Side of the Moon,” “Wish You Were Here” and “The Wall” and shaped the U.K. psychedelic music scene.
The band last recorded together for the 1994 album “The Division Bell.” Founding member and keyboard player Richard Wright, whose piano and synthesizer work played a critical part in the band’s ethereal sound, died in 2008 after a short battle with cancer.
After that, Gilmour said he doubted Pink Floyd would perform together again.
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