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R.E.M's Michael Stipe Releases New Song On Bioplastic Vinyl

6 September 2022 | 11:37 am | Brenton Harris

“I’m thrilled to be working with EarthPercent and Evolution Music on this release, imagining positive innovation through action. Simply showing that this type of solution-based project is possible opens pathways to a brighter future.”

Legendary R.E.M frontman Michael Stipe has released the world's first ever commercially available bioplastic vinyl. 

The indie icon's new, Brian Eno-produced solo single Future If Future is featured on a split 12" release with fellow visionary musician Beatie Wolfe. Limited to 500 copies, the 12" is pressed to sustainable bioplastic, differentiating it from the traditional method of pressing to the less environmentally friendly polyvinyl chloride. 

The release is a world first and was made available for purchase via Bandcamp, thanks to the Brian Eno co-founded enviro charity EarthPercent and Evolution Music. All proceeds from the 12" sales will go toward EarthPercent’s five core areas of work: greening music, energy transition, climate justice, legal and policy change, and protecting nature.

A press release for the split 12" reveals that the bioplastic record was developed by British music sustainability organization Evolution Music. Evolution Music's mission is to provide non-fossil fuel solutions for vinyl. 

Stipe is enthused by the project, sharing his thoughts on the release in a statement. 

“I’m thrilled to be working with EarthPercent and Evolution Music on this release, imagining positive innovation through action. Simply showing that this type of solution-based project is possible opens pathways to a brighter future.”

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Beatie Wolfe added: “It’s been fantastic to join forces with EarthPercent on the environmental front and for this very special release with Michael Stipe. I’m constantly thinking about how we can take the best of the old and best of the new, bridge the tangible and digital, and reclaim as much as we innovate and this new eco 12" feels like a perfect embodiment of this. I wrote Oh My Heart as a cry for the planet and humanity and it was recently encoded in glass and included in the Global Music Vault in Svalbard to be preserved for 10,000 years. So I couldn’t think of a better way to have it tangibly out in the world now.”

A representative for EarthPercent said the organisation were honoured to have the opportunity to feature Stiple and Beatie Wolfe in this way. 

“We’re honoured to have been given these amazing tracks from an incredible array of artists to raise money for our planet. The fact this has also led to a historical world-first commercial release on the BioPlastic 12" with Evolution Music is beyond exciting. A huge thanks to all the artists taking part, and to Michael Stipe and Beatie Wolfe for being a part of this groundbreaking release."


The limited-edition run of the 12" has sold out.