Rufus Wainwright has announced a new album. The record, titled Unfollow the Rules, comes out April 24th via BMG. To celebrate, he’s shared single “Damsel in Distress” as well as an animated music video.
Unfollow the Rules is technically Wainwright’s first pop album in eight years, following 2012’s Out of the Game, because his last two records, 2016’s Take All My Loves and 2015’s Prima Donna, were strictly Shakespeare sonnets and a full-length opera, respectively.
According to a press release, this new album symbolizes “a coming together of all the aspects of [Wainwright’s] life.” To do so, he emulated great artists who created their finest works in their second act, like Leonard Cohen with The Future and Paul Simon with Graceland. “Many songwriters improve with age,” said Wainwright. “I’m flying the flag for staying alive!”
Sure enough, “Damsel in Distress” sees Wainwright in top form. Over jaunty acoustic guitar, heart-tugging strings, and lush vocal harmonies reminiscent of Fleet Foxes, he sings a homage to Joni Mitchell and Laurel Canyon, where he lives with his husband. It’s expansive and gorgeous, and teeters the lines between baroque pop and indie rock rather well.
In the music video, animated by Josh Shaffner, a woman can be see walking along a rainy city street on a beautiful day. Above her head, the lyrics form in wisps of clouds and steady raindrops, but she keeps on moving, walking past animals, ghost-like creatures, and the expansive starry sky. Watch it below.
Wainwright is in the midst of a European tour right now, and he has a handful of North American dates scheduled for later this spring. The trek sees him stopping in New York City, San Francisco, and Los Angeles before hopping back overseas to perform at music festivals like Corona Capital and High Water Festival.
Find his full schedule below, and grab tickets to all of his upcoming concerts here.
Meanwhile, pre-orders for Unfollow the Rules are available now. Find the tracklist and cover art ahead.
Rufus Wainwright 2020 Tour Dates:
02/28 — Hastings, UK @ White Rock Theatre
04/19 — North Charleston, SC @ High Water Festival
04/24 — Bremen, DE @ Die Glocke
04/25 — Bourges, FR @ L’AUDITORIUM
04/27 — London, UK @ Islington Assembly Hall
05/01 — New York City, NY @ City Winery
05/02 — Huntington, NY @ Paramount Theater
05/03 — New York City, NY @ City Winery
05/08 — San Francisco, CA @ The Fillmore
05/09 — Los Angeles, CA @ Troubadour
05/11 — Solana Beach, CA @ Belly Up Tavern
05/17 — Guadalajara, MX @ Corona Capital
05/30 — Kvaerndrup, DK @ Egeskov Castle
06/02 — Istanbul, TR @ Zorlu PAC Jazz Festival
07/04 — Caldas de Reis, ES @ PortAmerica
07/07 — Oeiras, PT @ Festival Jardins do Marques
07/14 — La Rochelle, FR @ Francofolies Festival
07/18 — Echternach, LU @ Echterlive
08/01 — Glasgow, UK @ Kelvingrove Bandstand
11/06 — Paris, FR @ La Grand Rex
Unfollow the Rules Artwork:
Unfollow the Rules Tracklist:
01. Trouble in Paradise
02. Damsel in Distress
03. Unfollow the Rules
04. You Ain’t Big
05. Romantical Man
06. Peaceful Afternoon
07. Only the People That Love
08. This One’s For the Ladies (That Lunge)
09. My Little You
10. Early Morning Madness
12. Alone Time