The single, released today (June 16) after several teases and previews, is a re-recording of the band’s song ‘A Dustland Fairytale’, which first appeared on their 2008 album ‘Day & Age’ and served as the record’s fourth and final single.
The new version sees lead vocalist Brandon Flowers trading verses with Springsteen, before the two of them sing in unison.
Listen to ‘Dustland’ below:
According to a statement from Flowers, Springsteen originally reached out to him in February 2020 and suggested they record the song together.
“Watching Glastonbury,” the text from Springsteen reportedly read. “You guys have become one hellacious live band, my brother. Love the gold suit. We gotta do Dustland one day. – Bruce.”
Upon receiving the text, Flowers was suspicious that a prank was being played on him. “I google the area code,” he explains. “It’s from Freehold, New Jersey, and I’m still not convinced. I text Evan (Bruce and Patti’s son who has become a buddy of mine) and get verification that the number really is coming from his old man.”
Although COVID ultimately put plans for the two to work together on ice, it was later made possible towards the end of 2020. Both The Killers and Springsteen released new albums in the interim – ‘Imploding the Mirage’ and ‘Letter to You’, respectively.
Flowers went on to reflect on the initial writing of ‘A Dustland Fairytale’, which was an ode to his parents Jeannie and Terry Flowers.
“‘Dustland’ was written in the middle of [Jeannie’s] battle with cancer,” he said.
“It was an attempt to better understand my dad, who is sometimes a mystery to me. To grieve for my mother. To acknowledge their sacrifices, and maybe even catch a glimpse of just how strong love needs to be to make it in this world. It was my therapy. It was cathartic.”
Flowers praised Springsteen for writing “a lot about people like my parents,” as well as finding “a whole lot of beauty in otherwise invisible people’s hopes and dreams.”
“I’m grateful to him for opening this door for me,” said Flowers of Springsteen. “I’m grateful to my parents for their example to me.”
— The Killers (@thekillers) June 16, 2021
The Killers and Springsteen are scheduled to appear alongside one another for the first time on TODAY on NBC. They will be interviewed together and also perform the song live.