Mick Jagger has dropped two brand new tracks, “Gotta Get A Grip” and “England Lost”, which he says are responses to the “confusion and frustration with the times we live in.”
The legendary rock star premiered the politically charged songs earlier today on Zane Lowe’s “Beats 1 World Record” show on Apple Music. Describing the tracks, Jagger said, “One is really about England, one is really about America.”
The bluesy “England Lost” uses the analogy of a disheartening soccer game, intended to highlight England’s current confused political climate. “It’s about a feeling that we are in a difficult moment in our history,” the singer said. “It’s about the unknowability about where you are and the feeling of insecurity. That’s how I was feeling when I was writing.”
“Gotta Get A Grip” meanwhile boasts a more upbeat dance rock vibe, although it contains a similar sense of foreboding. “The news is all fake/Let ’em eat chicken and let ’em eat steak/Let ’em eat s**t, let ’em eat cake,” the Rolling Stones frontman sings.
Jagger said the message of the track is “despite all those things that are happening, you gotta get on with your own life, be yourself and attempt to create your own destiny.”
The iconic rocker said that he wrote both songs in April and wanted to release them as soon as possible, rather than waiting to put them on a new album. “Doing a whole album often takes a long time even after finishing it with all the record company preparations and global release set up,” he explained. “It’s always refreshing to get creative in a different fashion, and I feel a slight throwback to a time when you could be a bit more free and easy by recording on the hoof and putting it out there immediately.”
During his appearance on Beats 1, Jagger was asked about his current tastes in music, noting that he doesn’t “desperately try to sort of keep up with whatever’s going on,” but that he is a fan of Kendrick Lamar. “I love the grooves and I love where his point of view is coming from,” he told Lowe. “And I like just like dancing to him too. So I think I’ve been kind of influenced a little bit by his directness.”
He also spoke fondly of UK rapper Skepta, who appears on a “reimagined” version of “England Lost”. “He really wants to get the best out of himself. You know it’s like [he] really works hard on it,” Jagger said, speaking of their collaboration. He also said that both Lamar and Skepta “are very interesting and pretty much on the button.”
When it comes to his final views on the current political landscape, the 74-year-old rock star summed it up nicely: “We obviously have a lot of problems. So am I politically optimistic? …No.”
“England Lost” and “Gotta Get A Grip” are both available to buy and download now. You can watch the accompanying music videos above.