U2 release surprise new album ‘Songs Of Innocence’

The album was announced at the iPhone 6 launch and made available for free on iTunes

U2 have released a new album, ‘Songs Of Innocence’, and are giving it away for free.

The band announced the LP as it became available to download via iTunes at the launch of the new iPhone 6 and Watch earlier today (September 9) in California, after performing new song ‘The Miracle (Of Joey Ramone)’. The album will be available through iTunes exclusively until October 13. Scroll down for a full tracklisting.

Speaking to Rolling Stone about the surprise release, Bono commented: “We wanted to make a very personal album. Let’s try to figure out why we wanted to be in a band, the relationships around the band, our friendships, our lovers, our family. The whole album is first journeys – first journeys geographically, spiritually, sexually. And that’s hard. But we went there.”

Read NME’s review of the new U2 album

It is the band’s first album since 2009’s ‘No Line On The Horizon’ and was recorded with producers Danger Mouse, Flood, Paul Epworth and Ryan Tedder. It features a tribute to The Clash, ‘This Is Where You Can Reach Me Now’, as well as ‘Iris (Hold Me Close)’, a song about Bono’s mother, who died when he was 14, while ‘Raised By Wolves’ is about a car bombing in Dublin. Meanwhile, Lykke Li features on the album’s closing track, ‘The Troubles’.

Bono has said of the record: “It has a lyrical cohesion that I think is unique among U2 albums. I don’t want it to be a concept album, but the songs come from a place. Edge laughed and said this is our ‘Quadrophenia’. We could be so lucky.”

The band had previously confirmed that the album would be released in 2014, with a spokesperson telling Rolling Stone: “We’ve always said an album is expected this year.” In February, the band debuted their comeback single ‘Invisible’ during an advert at the Super Bowl, allowing fans to download it for free on iTunes.

The ‘Songs Of Innocence’ tracklisting is:

‘The Miracle (Of Joey Ramone)’
‘Every Breaking Wave’
‘California (There Is No End To Love)’
‘Song For Someone’
‘Iris (Hold Me Close)’
‘Volcano’
‘Raised By Wolves’
‘Cedarwood Road’
‘Sleep Like A Baby Tonight’
‘This Is Where You Can Read Me Now’
‘The Troubles’