Jack Johnson has released a new song, “One Step Ahead,” which will appear on his first new album in five years, Meet the Moonlight, set to arrive June 24 via Brushfire/Republic Records.
Johnson made Meet the Moonlight with celebrated producer Blake Mills, and “One Step Ahead” pairs Johnson’s plucky, laidback songwriting style with Mills’ talent for creating texturally rich, but not crowded soundscapes. “Never mind all the noise going through your head,” Johnson sings on the hook, “Because every time we talk we say/The same things that we’ve said.”
In a press bio, Johnson explained that “One Step Ahead” was about examining how lines of communication have broken down or shifted in a world dominated by social media. “We’re at a point where human nature hasn’t changed but the technology around us has changed dramatically, and it’s getting to this dangerous place where the most extreme and sensationalized opinions have the potential to be heard by so many people,” Johnson said. “That line in the chorus is about trying to breathe through the noise and get to a calmer place, which seems important when we’re seeing a lot of friends lose trust and grow away from each other because they disagree over some issue or another.”
Meet the Moonlight marks Johnson’s ninth studio album and first since 2017’s All the Light Above It Too. Crafting the album exclusively with Mills was also a completely new process for the singer-songwriter, as they recorded the LP at Sound City and EastWest Studios in Los Angeles and Johnson’s Mango Tree studio in Hawaii.
“When Blake and I first got in touch we’d send each other playlists, and over time we realized we were drawn to music that sounds effortless despite all the effort put into making it,” Johnson said in a statement. “After a while we got a language together and I gained a trust in him that allowed me to let go, push outside my comfort zone, and get to a sound I really loved.”
Johnson previously announced a lengthy North American tour that launches June 21 in Gilford, New Hampshire, with dates scheduled all the way through Oct. 7 in Chula Vista, California. On select dates, Johnson will be joined by a variety of guests, including Durand Jones and the Indications, Ziggy Marley, Ben Harper, and the Innocent Criminals, Ron Artis II and Thunderstorm Artis, and Lake Street Drive.
Before the tour, Johnson will play, and livestream, a special Earth Day concert (April 22) at the Kōkua Learning Farm in Haleʻiwa, Hawaii. The concert will stream on Johnson’s social media channels, while time and additional info will be announced soon.