Jason Isbell has released “What’ve I Done to Help,” the latest track off his forthcoming album Reunions, recording with his longtime backing band the 400 Unit. Isbell’s forthcoming album was once again produced by Dave Cobb, his collaborator on each of his albums since 2013’s Southeastern.
At nearly seven minutes long, the album’s opening track offers a slightly different sonic approach from the Alabama-bred singer-songwriter. Anchored by a prominent bass line from the 400 Unit’s Jimbo Hart, the song is a moody, slow-building mid-tempo treatise on helplessness and inaction in the midst of societal turmoil.
“World’s on fire, and we just climb higher to where we’re no longer bothered by the smoke and the sound,” Isbell sings. “Good people suffer and the heart gets tougher/Nothing given, nothing found.”
Jason Isbell recently performed at a benefit fundraiser concert in Birmingham for Democratic Alabama senator Doug Jones. “I feel like Doug has a long history of doing the right thing when it’s not necessarily the most popular thing,” Isbell said before the benefit. On Monday, March 9th, Isbell will perform alongside Brandi Carlile, Sheryl Crow, Brothers Osborne, and more at a benefit concert for tornado relief in Nashville.
“What’ve I Done To Help” is the second song Isbell has released from Reunions, coming roughly a month after premiering the album’s lead single, “Be Afraid.” Reunions is out via Southeastern Records on May 15th.