U2 are back with their first new song in two years – listen to “Atomic City” and watch the accompanying music video below.
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The Irish band has returned to the post-punk of their heyday with a stirring guitar hook reminiscent of their 1983 hit “Sunday Bloody Sunday” and a chorus that epitomizes Blondie.
Singer Bono sings about freedom (“I’m free/ I see what’s in front of me/ And your freedom is contagious/ What you have got I wanna be”) and references “Atomic City,” also known as Las Vegas City in which the accompanying music video takes place, as the place where it can be found.
It is unknown whether the song, which is U2’s first since 2021 when they released “Your Song Saved My Life” for the Sing 2 soundtrack, will appear on a yet-to-be-announced album. The band has teased an album that focuses on the sound of “guitar music.”
The new single was produced by Jacknife Lee and Steve Lillywhite and recorded at Sound City in LA. A statement about the song describes it as a “homage to the magnetic spirit of ’70s post-punk with a nod to Blondie, whose groundbreaking work with Giorgio Moroder inspired and influenced the band.”
U2’s last album of entirely original material was 2017’s Songs Of Experience. Earlier this year they released Songs Of Surrender, a reimagining of 40 songs from their back catalog.
Meanwhile, “Atomic City” is released on the same day (September 29) that U2 opens their residency at the new MSG Sphere venue in Las Vegas.
At the first concerts at the new venue, they will play their 1991 album “Aehrung Baby” in full length.
Up to 250 fans and extras gathered on the city’s Fremont Street earlier this month to watch the band perform “Atomic City” several times for what Bono joked was a “low-budget” music video.
During the surprise performance, the band also performed “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” from their classic album “The Joshua Tree.” [via U2 Songs]. U2 shot the music video for this single near Fremont Street in the late 80s.
“This is the world premiere of ‘Atomic City,’ a late ’70s rock ‘n’ roll 45-inch tradition of post-punk, if you’re interested… Blondie, The Clash,” Bono told the audience.
On site for the filming were Bono, guitarist The Edge, drummer Adam Clayton and bassist Larry Mullen Jr., although the latter will not be performing at the band’s Sphere shows due to recovering from surgery.
In other U2 news, the band recently launched Zoo Station – an immersive experience for fans developed in advance of their upcoming shows.
The immersive fan portal “Zoo Station: A U2:UV Experience,” which launched yesterday (September 28), aims to help fans gain a deeper understanding of “Aehrung Baby.”