It comes on the heels of Stipe sharing a brief rendition of his former band R.E.M.’s seminal hit ‘It’s The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)’ in a coronavirus safety video.
Filmed at what appears to be Stipe’s home, the new demo hears him singing over a weightless synth-driven beat while featuring poignant lyrics such as: “No time for crazy/ No time for arguments/ No time for love like now.”
Speaking about the song, Stipe said: “First take! A new song with Aaron Dessner. This is the demo track. Echoing Love xxx Michael.”
Listen to ‘No Time for Love Like Now’ below:
Dessner later released a comment about the collaboration. On Facebook, he wrote: “Michael Stipe has been a great hero and friend to me (and The National) and I never in my wildest dreams imagined writing songs together…
“But here is the demo of one in progress… coming to you from Michael in isolation at home — hope it raises some spirits.”
Michael Stipe has been a great hero and friend to me (and @TheNational ) and I never in my wildest dreams imagined writing songs together… but here is the demo of one in progress… coming to you from Michael in isolation at home — hope it raises some spirits https://t.co/6M8MrYiX2A
— Aaron Dessner (@aaron_dessner) March 29, 2020
Stipe, who came out as gay in 1994, said he believed the other members of the band knew about his sexuality long before he came out.
“I was never closeted,” Stipe said. “That’s the thing that’s beautiful about it and I’m so proud of. You can never find a single picture of me pretending to have a girlfriend or being somebody that I’m not.”
In an emotional tribute, Stipe said: “He is among all the fine points of the stars and we are looking up with love – and with our own reverence for his beauty, his humor, his relentless curiosity and of course his incredible musical ear, his time here with us so precious and golden.”