U2 are back with their first new song in two years – listen to “Atomic City’ and watch the accompanying music video below.
The Irish band have returned to the post-punk of their heyday with a stirring guitar hook reminiscent of their 1983 hit ‘Sunday Bloody Sunday’ and a chorus that channels Blondie.
Vocalist Bono sings about freedom (“I’m free/ I see what’s in front of me/ And your freedom is contagious/ What you’ve got I wanna be,”) and nods to “Atomic City” aka Las Vegas, the city in which the accompanying music video is set, as somewhere to find it.
It’s not known whether the song, which is U2’s first since 2021 when they released ‘Your Song Saved My Life‘ for the Sing 2 soundtrack, will feature on an as-yet-unannounced album. The band have teased a record that prioritises a “guitar music” sound.
The new single was produced by Jacknife Lee and Steve Lillywhite and recorded at Sound City in LA. A statement about the song describes it as a “homage to the magnetic spirit of ’70’s post punk with a nod to Blondie, whose pioneering work with Giorgio Moroder inspired and influenced the band”.
The run of shows, which are the first to be played at the new venue, will see them play their 1991 album ‘Achtung Baby’ in full.
Up to 250 fans and extras gathered in the city’s Fremont Street earlier this month to watch the band play through ‘Atomic City’ several times for what Bono joked was a “low budget” music video.
The surprise performance also saw the band play ‘I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For’ from their classic album ‘The Joshua Tree’ [via U2 Songs]. U2 shot the music video for that single not far from Fremont Street in the late ’80s.
“This is the world premiere of ‘Atomic City,’ a rock’n’roll 45-inch tradition of late 70s post-punk if you are interested…Blondie, The Clash,” Bono told the audience.
On hand for the shoot were Bono, guitarist the Edge, drummer Adam Clayton and bassist Larry Mullen Jr., the latter of whom is not performing at the band’s Sphere shows due to surgery recovery.
In other U2 news, the band recently launched ‘Zoo Station’ – an immersive experience for fans designed ahead of their upcoming shows.
Opening yesterday (September 28), the immersive ‘Zoo Station: A U2:UV Experience’ fan portal aims to help fans gather a deeper understanding of ‘Achtung Baby’.