R.E.M. may have split up in 2011, but that hasn’t stopped the legendary band from releasing a new song to help survivors of Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas rebuild and recover from the devastating hit.
Peter Buck, Mike Mills, and Michael Stipe originally slated the song “Fascinating” for release on their 2001 album, Reveal, but it was cut at the last minute, despite being Stipe’s favorite song from the recording sessions. They then rerecorded the song at the Compass Point Studios in Nassau, the Bahamas, back in 2004, for the Around the Sun release, but it didn’t fit in there, either. Now the poignant track has found the most fitting moment for its release. Fans can download the song on Bandcamp for $2 or make a larger donation of their choosing, and all proceeds will go directly to Mercy Corps’ relief efforts in the Bahamas. The nonprofit is on the ground in the Bahamas distributing solar lanterns equipped with USB chargers so people can charge essential devices, given the extensive electrical blackouts. It’s also delivering emergency supplies like mosquito nets, tarps, jerry cans, chlorine tablets to purify water, and rope. Mercy Corps is committed to reaching at least 3,000 families initially with emergency kits, and R.E.M. wants to help—with your support.
“I have been fortunate to spend many weeks working and playing in the Bahamas, making friends and lots of music there,” Mills said in a statement about the song’s release. “It breaks my heart to see the damage wrought by Hurricane Dorian. Please help us and Mercy Corps do what we can to alleviate the suffering caused by this catastrophe.”