Jason Isbell released last week the video for the title track of his stellar new album, Something More Than Free.
“The older you get, the more of your freedom you trade in in order to have things around you that you care about,” he tells Rolling Stone Country. “People spend so much time talking about freedom, and on one hand, that’s an illusion. I’m not free to go out and do whatever the hell I want because I have a wife, and she’s pregnant, and I really need to keep my shit together. So a lot of the focus of this record is about that. It’s about what you trade in to be happy. And I don’t feel like it’s complacency; it’s just adulthood.”
But Isbell’s song invites more discourse than that – it’s a lack of freedom to do whatever you want, but the freedom that comes with a certain type of security and stability, and essential needs met. Isbell simultaneously identifies with the protagonists in the video while subtly inviting larger themes, for a complexly inviting storyline.