The last time Mick Jagger put out a solo album, George W. Bush was president of the U.S., Tony Blair was prime minister of England, and Jagger was none too keen on their shared politics. Sixteen years later and both countries are still in disarray under new leadership, and Jagger once again has something to say about it. Jagger says he wrote two new songs, “London Lost” and “Gotta Get a Grip,” a few weeks ago to express his attitude toward the political divisions in England and America. He premiered both songs on Beats 1 Radio today, and debuted videos for both, as well as an EP of remixes for both songs featuring Skepta and Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker. Girls’ Jemima Kirke stars in the sweaty, frantic club-set video for “Gotta Get a Grip,” which has Jagger listing fake news, the refugee crisis, and ISIS as reasons for Americans teetering on the edge of insanity.
“London Lost,” another brooding rocker, speaks to Jagger’s displeasure with England tightening its own borders. “‘Im tired of talking about immigration / You can’t get in and you can’t get out / I guess that’s what we’re all about,” he sings (though it’s more spoken word). Jagger told Zane Lowe both songs are about “the anxiety [and] unknowability of the changing political situation. We obviously have a lot of problems. So am I politically optimistic? … No.” He also says he was inspired by Kendrick Lamar’s directness in speaking about his own discontent with societal injustices, and Jagger felt pressure to put out these two songs as fast as possible. “I didn’t want to wait until next year [to release an album] when these two tracks might lose any impact and mean nothing,” he says.