If you're a Pearl Jam fan, you probably already know that they have a new album coming out in September called Backspacer. "The Fixer", the catchy first single from the album, is in heavy rotation on rock radio, and various other songs from the album have been played live by the band and by Eddie Vedder in his solo shows. I have to admit I was a little disappointed when "The Fixer" was not made available for download (although you can still stream it from Pearl Jam's official website, and probably a few other places); I guess I was spoiled when they made "Worldwide Suicide", the first single from their last album, available for free.
First, though, let's talk a bit about the free download that they promise. "Speed of Sound" is a song that will be included on Backspacer; however, the version available for download here is a solo demo version by Eddie Vedder. The song is very much in line with Vedder's work on the Into the Wild soundtrack from a couple of years ago (actually, it would fit very well on that album). Most of the song is just Vedder and an acoustic guitar, but there are some beautiful vocal harmonies and some sparse electric guitar lines that really add to the melancholic feel of the song. I quite like the song so far, and I am very curious as to how it will sound on the album; whatever the rest of the band decides to do with it, it could well end up being one of the highlights of the album.