"American Soul" (2017)
“American Soul” is a song that has been developed for the upcoming album Songs of Experience.
Prior to U2’s performance in Seattle on May 14, 2017, Hot Press journalist Olaf Tyaransen interviewed Bono and asked about a few titles from the upcoming album. Bono speaks about a new song, “American Soul” which he had not previously mentioned, “There’s one called ‘American Soul’. That’s the one that Kendrick really likes, he has a piece of that.”
Later clarification explained that the lyrics of the song “American Soul” had been sampled and included in the Kendrick Lamar song, “XXX” featuring on Lamar’s album DAMN. That album featured Bono’s voice on the track “XXX” but the song was credited as featuring U2, although only Bono appeared on the track.
In listening sessions held for the media and music industry insiders, “American Soul” was one of the tracks that had been played. The song was described by one attendee to one of these listening sessions as a real rocker of a tune.
Bono also discussed the song in the lead up to the release of the single, “You’re The Best Thing About Me” in an interview with WXRT:
“American Soul” is a letter to America that deals with this, it’s not a place, this country is to me a sound of drum and bass, you close your eyes to look around. That’s the line Kendrick Lamar sampled for his song “XXX” but it’s about how we came to America, there was something of America in rock and roll, but what was it, it was a beautiful racial mix, that was what rock and roll was, gospel and the blues had a bastard child called rock and roll.
It is expected that the song will be released on the forthcoming album Songs of Experience.