In anticipation of their eighth studio album Weathervanes, Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit have released a second track from the project, “Middle of the Morning”. Weathervanes, out June 9th via Southeastern Records/Thirty Tigers, is written and produced by Isbell.
“Middle of the Morning” is a song written during the pandemic lockdown. Melancholy and honest with those Isbell phrases that will sneak into your vocabulary, the narrator, who both is and is not Isbell himself, describes the feeling of being stuck in place, wheels and mind spinning, feeling like some essential part of yourself lives just outside of your reach.
“It was about trying to keep my mind from unraveling over the couple of years there,” said Isbell.
Weathervanes was recorded at Nashville’s Blackbird Studio and features Isbell’s GRAMMY-winning band, the 400 Unit: Derry deBorja (Acoustic Piano, Electric Piano, Organ, Accordion, Synthesisers, Therevox, TackPiano, Background Vocals), Chad Gamble (Drums, Percussion, Congas), Jimbo Hart (Electric Bass, Bass), and Sadler Vaden (Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Electric 12 String, Acoustic 12 String, Background Vocals). Special guests include GRAMMY winner Amanda Shires (Fiddle, Background Vocals) and acclaimed harmonicist Mickey Raphael (Harmonica on “Strawberry Woman”) with Background Vocals on “If You Insist“ by renowned producer and engineer Sylvia Massy & Ian Rickard and Strings on “Death Wish” by Morgan O’Shaughnessey.
Additionally, it was announced last week that the new Sam Jones-directed documentary film, ‘Jason Isbell: Running with Our Eyes Closed’, will be released on HBO Max on April 7th. In his own words, Isbell takes fans on an unexpected journey through his musical evolution and creative process as he goes into the studio to record his new album Reunions with the 400 Unit. With striking candour and honesty, Isbell lays bare his difficult childhood, his struggles with addiction and relationships, and funnelling all his pain and private battles into his music. When the COVID-19 pandemic arrives and forces him and his family into lockdown, Isbell must confront the self-doubt and fears that isolation brings to a recovering addict and artist, even as the album releases.
Off the back of a storming run in the UK & Europe at the end of last year, which saw Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit play London’s Eventim Apollo, the band are currently on the road for headlining and festival dates throughout the summer. They head down under to Australia next week before bringing their show back to the states.