U2 is rumored to be releasing a new single and album by the end of 2017. The Irish Sun reports that U2 will release Songs Of Experience on Friday, December 1st, World AIDS Day, in conjunction with Project Red, an initiative set up by Bono to raise funds to fight the disease. The first single from the project, “You’re The Best Thing About Me,” is set to hit radio September 8th, according to the report.
Radio DJ and friend of the band Dave Fanning tells the Irish Sun that he listened to the album at Bono’s home recently.
“New U2 stuff always excites me because its great hearing new stuff from a band you love. It’s definitely out this year,” he says. “I had a listen to it at Bono’s house and it’s not unlike Songs of Innocence, or The Joshua Tree. What’s great is new songs mean something to U2. They take their new material seriously, in a way that the Rolling Stones don’t.”
Songs Of Experience is the highly anticipated follow up to 2014’s Songs Of Innocence that was gifted to more than a half a billion iTunes users before it’s physical release a few weeks later. The album’s release was called the “biggest album release in the history of music” as it was automatically distributed to all iTunes users in 119 countries simultaneously.
“They take their new material seriously, in a way that the Rolling Stones don’t.”
Innocence brought the band back to its Dublin roots, but Fanning states Experience is about more mature topics.
“The songs I heard were more personal from Bono, singing about later on after he left Cedarwood Road. Reflecting back on his life,” Fanning says. “I like the way Bono comes clean and wears his heart on his sleeve. This is very, very personal.”
The article also claims the band filmed a video for “You’re The Best Thing About Me” during a concert in Amsterdam in July. A remix of the track by Norwegian DJ Kygo was played at Norway’s Cloud Nine festival last year. Longtime producer Steve Lillywhite is rumored to be producing at least the single, and the band is working on “special precautions” to prevent the album from leaking ahead of its planned December release date.
Neither U2 nor its record label Interscope have confirmed any of the news. The band kicks off the second North American leg of its The Joshua Tree Tour 2017 on September 3rd in Detroit with Beck along for support. The tour has been reaffirmed as the most commercially and critically successful tour of the year with more than 2.4 million tickets sold to more than one million fans during the first North American leg than ran from May 12th to July 1st.