Jason Isbell Shares ‘Something More Than Free’ Lyric Video
The track heavily features Isbell's backup band, the 400 Unit, on fiddle, piano and electric guitar without losing Isbell's acoustic guitar and vocal contributions. In the song, Isbell, who is the son of a house painter, pays tribute to his parents' generation of workers chasing the American Dream and trying to get beyond working paycheck to paycheck. "Something More Than Free" tells the story of a blue-collar worker trying to make his way toward a better life day to day.
"It's a country song," Isbell tells Rolling Stone Country. "Not in the way that country songs sound like modern rock songs or hip-hop right now now, but it's got a country-sounding melody, and the images are about work and family.
"The older you get, the more of your freedom you trade in in order to have things around you that you care about," he continues. "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."
"Something More Than Free" is Isbell's second single from Something More Than Free. It follows the release of "24 Frames," which pays tribute to Athens, Ga., the home of Isbell’s former band, the Drive-By Truckers.