On “Oh My Heart,” R.E.M.’s latest offering from their fifteenth and soon-to-be-released studio album Collapse Into Now, the group cashes in on the dark, driving, guitar-centric sound that made Automatic For the People such a success. The song rocks-and-rolls, but it’s also notably ballad-esque, especially in contrast with the other two tracks (“Discoverer,” “It Happened Today”) released from the album thus far. According to lead singer Michael Stipe:
“It’s a very quiet and very meditative song dedicated to New Orleans — about New Orleans. Jacknife [Lee] is great as a producer, because he saw that we were struggling with what is a very quiet song. We were standing really far away from each other in the room, and it was hard not only to actually physically hear each other, but it felt dispersed. He brought us into the middle, and instantly, of course, the song worked.”
You can stream “Oh My Heart” over at NPR.
Collapse Into Now is due out March 7 on Warner Bros.