“Your Capricious Soul” released on October 5 is the first solo single by Michael Stipe, better known as the frontman of the American alternative rock band R.E.M. The debut is dedicated to benefit current climate justice protests called “Global Rebellion,” a movement initiated by Extinction Rebellion.
Directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson, “Your Capricious Soul” surfaced with an accompanying music video featuring a young girl. Blue eyes, orange hair and freckled-face with a somber look, the girl overtakes the powerful video. The three-minute video focuses on the facial expressions from a girl of few words. Using close-up lenses, the Fifty Shades of Grey director let the moment sink in by getting audiences to notice the sad and disappointed feelings from the subject’s eyes. The tight shoot lets the concern and self-consciousness of the young girl seep through. Not your traditionally loud sermon, the video preaches the emergency of climate change in a silent way.
“Your Capricious Soul” is sonically cheerful, with brittle and lively beats, beautiful tambourine and buzzing guitar riffs. Stipe sings, “Your mother’s worried. Is this in your favor? And your pastor’s crying. And the birds are dying. Or they might as well be.” His light and gentle vocals are telling people, our worries can be our strength, the same as our ecological concerns can be our new hope. This is because “Now the papers calling. And the photos flashing. And the fashion’s changing. Fast.”
“I took a long break from music, and I wanted to jump back in. I love ‘Your Capricious Soul’ – it’s my first solo work. I want to add my voice to this exciting shift in consciousness,” Stipe commented on his debut in a statement. “Extinction Rebellion gave me the incentive to push the release and not wait. Our relationship to the environment has been a lifelong concern and I now feel hopeful—optimistic, even. I believe we can bring the kind of change needed to improve our beautiful planet Earth, our standing and our place on it.”
After the break-up of the influential American alternative rock band R.E.M., Stipe transformed himself as a mainstream figure. His opaque lyrics and mumbled delivery are always translated into social and political concerns. As an arm of the climate-change protest movement, Extinction Rebellion is widely credited for raising public awareness. In support of this movement, each download purchased of Stipe’s video, which also includes a lyrics sheet, poster image, stencil and an animated flip-book portrait, will be donated to Extinction Rebellion. You can also enjoy the free version of the “Your Capricious Soul” video HERE.
“Your Capricious Soul” Artwork:
Photo Credit: Alyssa Fried