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The legendary band announced the release of the new track, “Living in a Ghost Town,” on April 23. Written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, the band originally intended it to be part of an upcoming album, but decided it was an appropriate track to release during the COVID-19 pandemic as everyone is stuck inside and the streets in some parts of the world look like a literal ghost town.
“So the Stones were in the studio recording some new material before the lockdown and there was one song we thought would resonate through the times that we’re living in right now,” Mick Jagger said in a press release announcing the song's debut. “We’ve worked on it in isolation. And here it is – It’s called ‘Living in Ghost Town’ -- I hope you like it.”
The song was recorded remotely from both Los Angeles and London and features Jagger on vocals, Richards on guitar and backing vocals, Charlie Watts on drums, Ronnie Wood also on guitar and backing vocals, Darryl Jones on bass and Matt Clifford on keyboards, french horn, sax and the flugelhorn.
“So, let's cut a long story short. We cut this track well over a year ago in L.A. for part of a new album, an ongoing thing, and then shit hit the fan Mick and I decided this one really needed to go to work right now and so here you have it, ‘Living in a Ghost Town,’” Richards added. “Stay safe!”
The track is only available to download or stream. The band’s drummer echoed his bandmates’ opinion that “Living in a Ghost Town” is far too appropriate to the times to have kept on the shelf until the album comes out.
“I enjoyed working on this track. I think it captures a mood and I hope people who listen to it will agree,” Watts said.
“Thanks so much for all your messages these past few weeks, it means so much to us that you enjoy the music. So we have a brand new track for you, we hope you enjoy it. It has a haunting melody,” Wood added.
The more than 4-minute song is sung from the perspective of a ghost who laments having to live in a ghost town after something shut down the world.