U2 have returned with ‘Atomic City’, their first original new song in two years. Produced by Jacknife Lee and Steve Lillywhite, the single was recorded at Sound City in Los Angeles. Check it out below.
‘Atomic City’ arrives ahead of the band’s first U2:UV Achtung Baby Live show as part of their residency at the new MSG Sphere in Las Vegas. A few weeks ago, U2 took to the streets of Las Vegas to perform the song as part of a music video shoot directed by Ben Kutchins, filming in the same Fremont Street location where they shot their video for ‘I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For’.
In an interview with Zane Lowe on Apple Music 1, Bono said of the new song:
It’s just an invitation to our audience. It’s like a come-all-ye. You know what come-all-ye is? It’s an Irish word for… A come-all-ye is like a song that invites everybody in. Las Vegas was known as Atomic City because they had atomic bomb tourism here in the fifties. “Come and watch the mushroom cloud.” But now all the fear and dread of splitting the atom and using it as a weapon of mass destruction, there may be clues for how we get out of the climate crisis through fusion rather than fission. Though even fission, which is regular nuclear energy, is getting safer and smarter. And we’ve campaigned against nuclear energy and we’ve kind of turned around a little bit on that one. And so the lyric, “atomic sun for everyone,” that’s that reference. So we’re using it as in a comic sense, Atomic City, but actually the idea that by not splitting the atom, by fusing the atom, you have unlimited energy, it’s just a beautiful idea to plop in the middle of a seventies swing stomp…
Drummer Larry Mullen Jr., who features on the song and video, won’t be joining the band for its upcoming run of shows as he takes time to undergo and recuperate from surgery. “I’s really tricky for him,” Bono said. “And he came in the night before we recorded it in Sound City. So many stories in that studio. And Edge wanted us to go there. And Larry went the night before to just make sure. He didn’t know if he could play for an hour or… he didn’t know if he could play for 15 minutes. And he just played up the storm.”