My Morning Jacket
frontman Jim James announced on Tuesday the release of his forthcoming solo album, titled Uniform Distortion. The musician’s third solo album, following Eternally Even and Regions of Light and Sound of God, is set to release on June 29 via ATO Records. The album will be the first piece of original material released by James since 2016, not counting his covers album, Tribute to 2, released last December.
Alongside the news of his forthcoming album, James shared the first single off the record, titled “Just a Fool.” The track is a lighthearted and upbeat message to those who feel like outcasts. The Ellis Bahl-directed music video for the new song presents James through an opaque black-and-white filter. James appears through the smoke, playing the slick riff of the song on an electric guitar. The musician wrote on his website, in regards to the new single:
everyone has been called a fool at some point in their lives- sometimes well deserved and other times not at all. i suppose this song is a sarcastic “fuck off” to anyone who ever degrades or makes another person feel a fool when they did not deserve it or just needed help, while at the same time it is an acceptance of the times i HAVE been a fool, and a hope that i can learn from those mistakes or bad ways of living and make a better life…throw down the hammer of the past and march forward in joy and peace to the beat of my own drum. everybody plays the fool…sometimes.
The forthcoming album’s cover art features Duane Michals’ photo “The Illuminated Man,” which James came across in a 1971 reference book. The musician gained permission to use the photo after writing Michals a letter in which James explained the personal meaning of the photo and the purpose of his new record. In the letter, James writes:
The name of my new record is Uniform Distortion because I feel like there is this blanket distortion on society/media and the way we gather our ‘news’ and important information … and more and more of us are feeling lost and looking for new ways out of this distortion and back to the truth.
Again, Uniform Distortion is out on June 29. Watch the “Just a Fool” music video below, followed by James performing with My Morning Jacket in Alpharetta, Ga., in 2011, via the Paste Cloud. Then, for more James-related content, revisit the musician performing alongside Roger Waters, Justin Vernon, Margo Price and the legendary John Prine at the 2017 Newport Folk Festival right here.