Published Feb 27, 2020After months of teasing a possible new record, Rufus Wainwright has confirmed the release of Unfollow the Rules — his BMG debut — due April 24. Today, we have our latest taste of the album in a track called "Damsel in Distress."
UPDATE (4/2, 2:30 ET): The album has now been postponed until July 10 due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Unfollow the Rules will apparently find Wainwright in a sense of "newfound fearlessness while remaining as creative, bold, and mischievous as ever," according to a press release.
He elaborated in the following statement:
What I would like this album to symbolize is a coming together of all the aspects of my life which have made me a seasoned artist. My aim is to emulate the greats of yore whose second acts produced their finest work – Leonard Cohen when he made The Future, when Sinatra became Sinatra in his 40s, when Paul Simon put out Graceland. Pop music isn't always about your waistline. Many songwriters improve with age. I'm flying the flag for staying alive!
As previously reported, Wainwright described his forthcoming record as "a return to form and his most accessible album to date," as well as "the bookend" to his self-titled 1998 debut. Unfollow the Rules is Wainwright's ninth studio album and his first since 2012's Out of the Game.
As for "Damsel in Distress," it arrives today alongside a Josh Shaffner-animated video.
"'Damsel in Distress' is an homage to Joni Mitchell in some ways, particularly the structure," Wainwright said of the song in a statement. "My husband and I now live in Laurel Canyon. I wasn't that familiar with Joni's music but Jörn became obsessed and took me on a journey into her music. We ended up hanging out with her and I get now why she's one of the greats. So it's part Laurel Canyon, part a song about a personal relationship that I'm trying to come to terms with, but mostly my Mitchell virginity being broken."
"Damsel in Distress" follows the release of the record's lead single "Trouble in Paradise," which was recently treated to an Anna Wintour-themed music video.
Watch the video for "Damsel in Distress" below.