Mick Jagger has unveiled two brand new tracks as a surprise instant release. "Gotta Get A Grip" and "England Lost" are both described as urgent responses to the "confusion and frustration with the times we live in." The latter song features a collaboration with the hot British grime artist and rapper Skepta. "I started writing these two songs in April and wanted them out straight away," says Jagger. "Doing a whole album often takes a long time even after finishing it with all the record company preparations and global release set up. 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. I didn't want to wait until next year when these two tracks might lose any impact and mean nothing." The songs are available here as a double A-side limited 12" vinyl.
Jagger, who turned 74 on June 26, says that the new songs were a result of "anxiety, unknowability of the changing political situation." Both have him defiantly addressing the pressing political and sociological issues of the day. "England Lost" uses the backdrop of a football match that he attended as an analogy for the political crossroads he perceives. "Ostensibly, it's about seeing an England football team lose," Jagger explains. "But when I wrote the title I knew it would be about more than just that. It's about a feeling that we are in a difficult moment in our history. It's about the unknowability about where you are and the feeling of insecurity. That's how I was feeling when I was writing. It's obviously got a fair amount of humour because I don't like anything too on the nose but it's also got a sense of vulnerability of where we are as a country. Right from the off when I started writing ‘England Lost', I imagined having a British rapper on the track...Skepta stepped in at a moment's notice and I just loved what he did."
Of "Gotta Get A Grip," Jagger adds: "The message I suppose 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. We obviously have a lot of problems. So am I politically optimistic?...no."