Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit – “Only Children”
These days, like so many of us, the country-rock star Jason Isbell is stuck at home, quarantining with his family. He’s making the most of his time off; this week, he jumped on Instagram and covered one of the best songs from the Drive-By Truckers, the band that gave him his start. (It’s “Heathens,” from 2003, back when Isbell was still in the band. Isbell covered it in honor of his old bandmate Patterson Hood’s birthday.) But Isbell and his current band the 400 Unit still have an album coming out, and they’re still sharing singles from it.
This spring, Isbell and the 400 Unit will release the new LP Reunions, the follow-up to 2017’s great The Nashville Sound. They’ve already shared two songs, the purposeful rocker “Be Afraid” and the sprawling, intense “What’ve I Done To Help.” But some of us will always prefer Isbell’s softer, more sensitive side. “Only Children,” his latest, is for us.
“Only Children” is a lush, pretty country-folk ramble about thinking about a friend who’s not around anymore. There’s some great, evocative organ work. Isbell sings much of it in harmony with his bandmate and wife Amanda Shires, and he gets so much mileage out of the tired twang in his voice. This is a good one, and you can hear it below.
Reunions is out 5/15 on Isbell’s own Southeastern label.