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Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit Reflect on “What’ve I Done to Help” with New Single: Stream

on March 06, 2020, 10:56am

Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit are set to deliver Reunions, the follow-up to 2017’s The Nashville Sound, later this spring. Lead single “Be Afraid” hinted at a very socially conscious record, and the newly revealed “What’ve I Done to Help” further highlights that thematic thrust.

At nearly seven minutes long, “What’ve I Done to Help” finds Isbell at his most introspective, reflecting empathetically on the guilt of having a steady quality of life in a world that seems to be crumbling around him. “The world’s on fire, and we just climb higher/ Till we’re no longer bothered by the smoke and sound,” he sings. “Good people suffer, and the heart gets tougher/ Nothing given, nothing found.” With doleful strings and layers of dancing guitars that churn the shameful stew of success, the single is a sweeping, soulful jam that’s as meditative as it is grand.

Take a listen below.

Reunions arrives May 15th via Isbell’s own Southeastern label. He and The 400 Unit, which includes his wife/Highwomen member Amanda Shires, will support the record on a spring-summer tour that launches at Boston Calling. Festival appearances at Bonnaroo and Railbird are also on the docket, and you can get tickets to all the band’s upcoming dates here.