Posted July 8, 2020 by Jeff in Tunes

My Morning Jacket’s New Album Offers Message of Hope

My Morning Jacket photo by Danny Clinch
My Morning Jacket photo by Danny Clinch

My Morning Jacket released its new studio effort, The Waterfall II, on July 10. Stinson Beach, CA, where the band wrote and recorded, inspired the album. It’s an isolated place, and frontman Jim James says that working there was like “living on our own little moon.”

There, the Kentucky-bred five-piece ended up creating over two dozen songs at Panoramic House, a studio located on a mountaintop. Though they flirted with the idea of putting out what would have been a triple album, the band ultimately decided to split the project into two halves. The first half, The Waterfall, came out in 2015.

Fans will get to hear The Waterfall II in its entirety during an online listening party being hosted by the band on Facebook and YouTube at 9pm ET on July 9 before the album arrives at all DSPs on July 10. Album pre-orders, including both standard and deluxe versions featuring 180-gram vinyl with Zoetrope labels in a gatefold foil jacket, are available now. The Waterfall II will be released on CD and vinyl on Aug. 28.

The decision to release The Waterfall II now came to James when he was out on a walk and placed his music library on shuffle. He listened to “Spinning My Wheels,” a ballad about feeling “hypnotized from doing the same old thing.” Struck by the song’s “enduring relevance,” James revisited the other tracks reserved from the Panoramic House sessions and found that they invited a welcome moment of self-reflection and that perfectly suits to the chaos of the current day.

Like its predecessor, The Waterfall II mines its mood of dreamy contemplation from certain heartbreak James had recently experienced, including the demise of a monumental relationship. Unfolding in a loosely threaded narrative of “loss and recovery,” the album conjures an indelible pain but never drifts into despair, conveying James’s message that “there is hope beyond the pain and loss, if you learn to flow with life like water.”

 “As so many of us feel out of tune and long for the world to be a better place, we have to look to nature and the animals and learn from them: learn to love, accept, move on, and respect each other,” says James. “We gotta work for it and change our ways before it’s too late and get in harmony with love and equality for all of humanity and for nature too.”

My Morning Jacket will perform on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on July 15.

Photo Credit: Danny Clinch


Jeff started writing about rock ’n’ roll some 20 years ago when he stood in the pouring rain to hitch hike his way to see R.E.M. on their Life’s Rich Pageant tour. Since that time, he's written for various daily newspapers, alt-weeklies, magazines and websites. Feel free to comment on his posts or suggest music, film and art to him at [email protected].