Michael Stipe, isolated, introduces new song

Michael Stipe stays socially isolated but introduces a demo of a new song called "No Time for Love Like Now." CONTRIBUTED: MICHAEL STIPE

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Michael Stipe stays socially isolated but introduces a demo of a new song called "No Time for Love Like Now." CONTRIBUTED: MICHAEL STIPE

Michael Stipe, former lead singer of R.E.M., is taking his own advice and staying isolated during the coronavirus crisis, but he is still creating.

The co-writer of “It’s The End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)” introduced a new song on Sunday, a demo of a somber collaboration with Aaron Dessner.

The song is called “No Time For Love Like Now,” and on a new YouTube video Stipe sings it into the camera, accompanied by a Prince-like backing track of keyboards and synth drums.

The lyrics include (apparently) the phrase “lockdown memories can’t sustain.” They seem appropriate for this time and place.

R.E.M.’s 1987 million-seller “It’s the End of the World As We Know It” resurfaced this spring during the global pandemic, and Stipe released an updated version serving as a COVID-19 safety video.