Jason Isbell’s ‘Dreamsicle’ Finds a Little Beauty Amid Chaos [LISTEN]
Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit's "Dreamsicle" reflects on a tumultuous childhood: the many difficult, heartbreaking moments, but also, the fleeting, beautiful ones. Press play above to listen.
Quickly, Isbell sets the scene: "I guess we're leavin' town again ... Gotta break the news to all my friends / But they won't care," he sings. As the song progresses, the lyrics reveal a child dealing with fighting parents, including a mother who's trying her best but clearly struggling and an absentee father. A final verse finds the teenage protagonist aching to move away, but not entirely cut contact with his parents.
It's each chorus, though, that offers a glimmer of beauty: "A dreamsicle on a summer night in a folding lawn chair / The witch's ring around the moon / Gotta get home soon." Isbell's perfectly painted picture proves that, even in tough times, there's still small bits of perfection to be found.
"Dreamsicle" comes from Isbell and his band's forthcoming new album, Reunions, due out on May 15. Fans have already been able to hear "Be Afraid," "What've I Done to Help" and "Only Children" from the 10-song project, which was produced by Dave Cobb.
Reunions will be available via independent record shops in the United States and Canada one week early, on May 8, on both CD and "dreamsicle"-colored vinyl and with a limited-edition print. The early and exclusive release is a small plan to help one sector of those small businesses that have been forced to close and are, therefore, struggling due to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Reunions is Isbell and company's first since 2017's The Nashville Sound. A No. 1 album on the Billboard Folk, Independent, Country and Rock Albums charts, that record received Best Americana Album at the Grammy Awards and Album of the Year at the Americana Honors & Awards. It was also nominated at the CMA Awards for Album of the Year, earning Isbell his first CMA nod.
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