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Hear Chris Cornell’s New Solo Single ‘The Promise’

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Chris Cornell has released his latest solo single, “The Promise,” from the soundtrack to the upcoming film of the same name — along with a lyric video offering fans a clear look at the real-life stories that went into the song.

Due to arrive in theaters April 21, The Promise is a period drama set in 1914 Constantinople, against the backdrop of the Ottoman Empire’s last days. Starring Christian Bale as a photojournalist caught in a love triangle opposite an Armenian med student (Oscar Isaac) with whom he vies for the affections of an artist (Charlotte le Bon), the story blends its romantic elements against the actual horrors of genocide suffered by the Armenian people — an undeniably tricky balance, but one Cornell sees as enabling some crucial stories to be told on the big screen.

“As humans, we have a tremendous capacity to trudge ahead in our lives and not look at the difficult and challenging moments,” said Cornell in the press release announcing the single. “But I think it’s important. Educating ourselves on the past is the best way to understand the present and avoid future atrocities by understanding and intervening. We must educate and stand as one to combat this fear and violence, and as citizens of the world, work to protect each other’s human rights.”

The Soundgarden frontman has worked in a variety of genres throughout his career, but “The Promise” lets him try something new — as Cornell told Rolling Stone, he opted for an orchestral setting for the song in an attempt to reflect the story’s period setting.

“I wasn’t trying to record a song that sounded like it was from 1915, but I didn’t want there to be obvious modern references because obviously at the time there was no such thing as the Beatles or Metallica or everything that is my reference for musical ideas,” explained Cornell. “So the orchestra works just because that did exist and it can be a little bit out of time, so I was swimming in those waters of ambiguity.”

Cornell’s proceeds from “The Promise” are being donated to the humanitarian non-profit International Rescue Committee. To find out more about The Promise, visit the film’s official site.

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