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Rufus Wainwright announces rule-breaking pop album

By | Published on Friday 28 February 2020

Rufus Wainwright

Having signed a new record deal with BMG last October, Rufus Wainwright has now announced his first album for the label. Titled ‘Unfollow The Rules’, it will see him return to pop for the first time in the best part of a decade.

“What I would like this album to symbolise is a coming together of all the aspects of my life which have made me a seasoned artist”, he says. “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”, he goes on. “Many songwriters improve with age. I’m flying the flag for staying alive!”

Well, that’s quite a bold set up for this new record. Its first single is ‘Damsel In Distress’, of which he says: “[It’s] an homage to Joni Mitchell in some ways, particularly the structure. 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”, he explains. “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”.

The album will be out on 24 Apr, and three days later Wainwright will play two shows in one evening at the Islington Assembly Hall in London. Tickets are on sale now – a snip at £70 a piece. Right now, you could watch the video for ‘Damsel In Distress’: