“In 2023 to still be working on Beatles music, and about to release a new song the public haven’t heard, I think it’s an exciting thing,” said Paul McCartney, ahead of the band’s anticipated final single on 2 November. The release of “Now and Then” was made possible by artificial intelligence – specifically a bespoke programme developed by the WingNut Films production company for a new Beatles documentary. The software is powerful enough to remove all background noise and tease out individual voices and instruments. That made it possible to create clean audio of John Lennon’s vocals and piano from a home demo he recorded in New York in the late 1970s. The song also features parts recorded by the late George Harrison as well as surviving members McCartney and Ringo Starr.