Music legend Mick Jagger has released two new tracks, rush-released on what he has described in a press release as an urgent response to the “confusion and frustration with the times we live in.”
The two songs called, ‘Gotta Get A Grip’ and ‘England Lost’ take caustic aim at aggressive news cycles and those in power, a result of what Jagger says is the “anxiety [and] unknowability of the changing political situation.”
On ‘England Lost’, Jagger explains: “Ostensibly, it’s about seeing an England football team lose, but when I wrote the title I knew it would be about more than just that. It’s about a feeling that we are in a difficult moment in our history. It's about the unknowability about where you are and the feeling of insecurity. That’s how I was feeling when I was writing. It's obviously got a fair amount of humour because I don’t like anything too on the nose but it's also got a sense of vulnerability of where we are as a country. Right from the off when I started writing ‘England Lost’, I imagined having a British rapper on the track... Skepta stepped in at a moment’s notice and I just loved what he did.””
When asked about the current political climate, Jagger is critical. “We obviously have a lot of problems. So am I politically optimistic? …No.” Rather than produce a whole album, Jagger wanted to release the two standalone tracks in urgent response to the current state of political affairs.
“I started writing these two songs in April and wanted them out straight away. Doing a whole album often takes a long time even after finishing it with all the record company preparations and global release set up. It’s always refreshing to get creative in a different fashion and I feel a slight throwback to a time when you could be a bit more free and easy by recording on the hoof and putting it out there immediately. I didn’t want to wait until next year when these two tracks might lose any impact and mean nothing”.
Jagger has also revealed who he is listening to at the moment. “I do quite a lot of trawling for music online and also the youngsters in my family all play me music when we get together so I get to hear all kinds of things. I listen to R&B and pop and strange mixes of old and new and then like everyone I make my own random playlists. The last things I added to a list were Kendrick Lamar, Skepta, Mozart, Howlin’ Wolf, Tame Impala, obscure Prince tracks and classic soul stuff from The Valentine Brothers. I really like Kendrick Lamar, he’s also talking about discontent and he really nailed it. I thought his stuff, and what Skepta is doing, are very interesting and pretty much on the button.’’
The two tracks have been release today and are available in a Double A side limited edition 12” vinyl and CD, digital download and via streaming services.