Queen's Brian May releases beautiful new single 'Panic Attack 2021’ to help combat coronavirus anxiety

13 April 2021, 16:08

Brian May and Kerry Ellis have released a new track 'Panic Attack 2021'. Pictured, the pair's  new music video for the song.
Brian May and Kerry Ellis have released a new track 'Panic Attack 2021'. Pictured, the pair's new music video for the song. Picture: Brian May Official/YouTube

By Giorgina Hamilton

Brian May and his singing partner Kerry Ellis have released a new single 'Panic Attack 2021’ as an antidote to COVID-19 anxiety.

Queen guitarist Brian May and his singing and songwriting partner Kerry Ellis have released a new single inspired by the coronavirus.

The duo, who have had a close friendship for two decades, have written 'Panic Attack 2021' as a reimagining of their 2017 single 'It's Gonna Be All Right (The Panic Attack Song)'.

See more: Queen's Brian May releases heart-wrenching guitar solo of 'You'll Never Walk Alone' in tribute to Captain Tom

The release comes after the pair played the song live online to celebrate New Years Eve and decided to rework the hit after it chimed with fans all over the world.

Sharing how the new version came about, Brian said: “At the close of 2020 there was a feeling that perhaps saying goodbye to that year would bring relief from the pandemic and a new era of hope would now begin.

See more: Spine-tingling moment Brian May plays a staggering guitar solo to an empty stadium

Brian May and his singing and songwriting partner Kerry Ellis have released a new single inspired by the coronavirus.
Brian May and his singing and songwriting partner Kerry Ellis have released a new single inspired by the coronavirus. Picture: Brian May Official/YouTube
The duo, who have had a close friendship for two decades, have written 'Panic Attack 2021' as a reimagining of their 2017 single 'It's Gonna Be All Right (The Panic Attack Song)'.
The duo, who have had a close friendship for two decades, have written 'Panic Attack 2021' as a reimagining of their 2017 single 'It's Gonna Be All Right (The Panic Attack Song)'. Picture: Brian May Official/YouTube

"Sadly, following a very muted and restricted celebration of Christmas, the New Year dawned with the realisation that the mankind’s struggle was probably going to get worse before it got better.

See more: Freddie Mercury unseen photos: Brian May releases new-found private images of Queen bandmates

"Kerry and I realised that The Panic Attack song now potentially had a whole new meaning to literally millions of people around the world who felt a growing sense of panic.

See more: Jaw-dropping moment Brian May played 'God Save The Queen' on the roof of Buckingham Palace

"In the UK, there was definitely a feeling that we had all been cheated of our Happy New Year. So we wanted to mark the occasion in a completely real and transparent way.”

“We’ve all come through some dark times,” says Brian May. “Now we want to give hope for brighter days to come.” Pictured on stage at the Oscars in 2019.
“We’ve all come through some dark times,” says Brian May. “Now we want to give hope for brighter days to come.” Pictured on stage at the Oscars in 2019. Picture: Getty

See more: Brian May singing duet with Pavarotti on 'Too Much Love Will Kill You' is spectacular

By e-mailed updates and Zoom discussions, Brian May and Kerry Ellis created a new vocal track, while assembling ideas for a new mix and groundbreaking video.

Driving the whole project was a desire to create something that would actually rekindle some hope, reminding listeners that in spite of endless wrong turns – and in the words of the song - things were, somehow going to be alright!

See more: Queen’s Brian May giving a tutorial on how to play ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ is so soothing

Finally, after wrestling further with home recording, restrictions were relaxed to the point where Brian and Kerry were able to meet for a couple of days socially distanced work in Brian’s studio. 

Long-time Queen and BM engineer and co-producer Justin Shirley Smith - himself newly recovered from Covid - worked alongside Brian on extensive new guitar work, including a wild new solo, and a dynamic mix. 

See more: Queen: Freddie Mercury and Brian May's private hotel jam session from 1986 is spectacular

Created by Bob Whitehill of Pixar, the song's video features Kerry singing her heart out assuring the nation "it's gonna be alright" and Brian rocking his guitar from his lockdown rooftop – all shot on iPhones.

The video also has powerful footage from around the world of desolate streets, families separated, masked people and the feeling of excitement as lockdowns ease, with stolen hugs, smiles and a great sense of liberation as we start to return to activities we love.

In a few days, again swapping ideas with Kerry through digital media, the new track was finished.  

“We’ve all come through some dark times,” says Brian May. “Now we want to give hope for brighter days to come.”

See next: Queen: Rare video of Freddie Mercury playing the drums at a band rehearsal in 1977 is phenomenal

“I am beyond excited to kick off this year with a song full of hope,” say Kerry. "Music is so powerful and it’s amazing what you can still create with so many restrictions. I hope this song and video gives people as much hope and joy as it did for me and Brian making it. We have all had quite a tough year but remember: ‘it’s gonna be alright!’”