Jason Isbell’s upcoming Something More Than Free is not, as David Letterman joked during a recent episode of The Late Show, a free release. That hasn’t stopped the Americana Award winner from offering up a cost-free clip of the new record, though, more than two months ahead of its July 17th street date.
Now streaming on Soundcloud (below), “24 Frames” — the album’s first single — doubles as a tribute of sorts to Athens, Georgia, where Isbell’s previous band, the Drive-By Truckers, are based. Rather than look to that group for influence, though, “24 Frames” resurrects the indie-minded jangle of Athens’ most famous sons, R.E.M., from the guitar arpeggios that chime throughout the verse to the slide solo that sweeps in after every chorus. “You thought God was an architect; now you know/He’s something like a pipe bomb ready to blow,” goes the refrain, driven forward by Amanda Shires’ harmonies and Jimbo Hart’s bass.
“Twenty-four frames roll past the camera every second during a movie,” Isbell told Rolling Stone Country earlier this spring, midway through the Nashville-based recording sessions for Something More Than Free. “I’ve seen some stuff that’s faster, but always looks like a British TV show. That’s what the song is called, and I think it’s really interesting — it kind of sounds like the way indie rock sounded when I was 15.”
Isbell also recently announced another round of tour dates, including a cross-country spread of headlining dates and several one-off shows as the openeing act for My Morning Jacket and Zac Brown Band.