Eddie Vedder's new single 'Longing to Belong' is a welcome bit of new music that's appearing in the middle of an otherwise busy year of re-releases marking Pearl Jam's 20th anniversary as a unit.

While the band won't be touring, they’re keeping fans occupied with expanded anniversary reissues of landmark albums ‘Vs.’ and ‘Vitalogy,’ and a retrospective film helmed by longtime Pearl Jam associate Cameron Crowe called ‘Pearl Jam 20.’

They’ll also mount one of their only live performances of 2011 later this summer when they host their own festival, the details of which are slowly trickling out.

Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder is using the band’s period of downtime to once again indulge his solo muse with a brand new solo release called ‘Ukulele Songs.’  Unlike some albums that adopt a creative but misleading title, ‘Ukulele Songs’ is just what it promises – an album’s worth of music that Vedder composed for ukulele over the past ten years.

‘Longing to Belong’ is the first taste of music from the album and finds Vedder in a contemplative mood that flies very close to the somber stylings of his previous solo work, as found on the ‘Into The Wild’ soundtrack. As Vedder has continued to grow through the years as a songwriter, it’s the love songs and ballads that often are the standouts.

‘Longing to Belong’ is achingly beautiful along the same emotional lines that ‘Just Breathe’ (from the most recent Pearl Jam album ‘Backspacer’) traveled. Simple as it is, when Vedder sings lyrics like “Love can be frightening when you fall,” he proves that his ability to connect with the human spirit hasn’t been lost.

Listen to Eddie Vedder, 'Longing to Belong'