R.E.M. have made one of their previously unreleased songs, titled “Fascinating”, available for download for $2 via Bandcamp with all proceeds going to Mercy Corps’ Hurricane Dorian relief and recovery efforts in the Bahamas.
R.E.M. planned to include “Fascinating” their 2001 Reveal album before cutting it at the last moment. “It wasn’t that the song didn’t work,” bassist Mike Mills explained to Rolling Stone. “It has a really cool melodic figure and I think we arranged it with oboe and flute, which you usually don’t hear together. It’s an odd song about alienation and I really liked it, but it just didn’t fit on the record.”
The band then re-recorded the song at Nassau, Bahamas’ Compass Point Studios in 2004 with the intent of putting it on the album Around the Sun. Again, R.E.M. opted against including the song, this time because, according to a press release, “the lush ballad ultimately didn’t jibe with that spare, atmospheric album.
“I’m glad the song is now available,” said Mills. “But I’m heartsick it’s for this particular situation.”
In a recent statement, Mills said, “I have been fortunate to spend many weeks working and playing in the Bahamas, making friends and lots of music there.” He continued, “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.”
Mercy Corps CEO Neal Keny-Guyer added, “The Bahamas faces a long road to recovery after this devastating hurricane. We’re grateful to have R.E.M. in our global community of humanitarians, sharing their song with the world to help the people of the Bahamas recover and build back even stronger.”