After wrapping up an exhaustive 2012 touring schedule with My Morning Jacket, Jim James has turned his attention to his upcoming debut album Regions of Light and Sound of God, releasing the buoyant, acoustic track "A New Life."
"It went through several different phases before I found what I wanted it to be," James tells Fuse. "It was acoustic and then I tried a more straight-ahead drum approach, and then I tried a dreamy trance approach, and they just all felt like they said too much of a thing.
"I started messing around with loops and different percussion and just really wanted the sound of the song to echo the celebration I was trying to convey with the words and music. It’s acoustic, but celebratory. I get like a Harry Belafonte tropical vibe out of it and that’s what I was going for."
Inspired by a 1929 graphic novel Gods' Man about a struggling artist who sells his soul to the devil for instant fame, James wrote each song as a musical accompaniment to the book's various scenes. "I wrote 'A New Life' for when [the protagonist] falls off a cliff and starts a new life with the love of his life," says the singer. Now you can hear for yourself.
Regions of Light and Sound of God is out February 5, but you can listen to "A New Life" over at Rolling Stone now.