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Jim James is best-known as the frontman behind My Morning Jacket, a deeply beloved psych-rock collective. But lately, he’s been striking off on his own a bit, and doubling in some solo projects to expand his already expansive palette even further. This year he released two solo records, Uniform Distortion and its counterpart, Uniform Clarity, which features acoustic versions of the songs on the former album. As part of his The Future Is Voting tour, James has been writing songs that double as protest music, even joining with The Resistance Revival Chorus, “a collective of women who come together to sing protest songs in the spirit of joy and resistance” for a late night performance earlier this year.
For his Tiny Desk, though, James appeared by himself, first performing “I’m Amazed off the My Morning Jacket album, Evil Urges from 2008, then singing about the importance of voting in a cut called “Same Old Lie” off his 2016 solo album Eternally Even: “You best believe it’s the silent majority / If you don’t vote it’s on you, not me.” Finishing out with a new song, “Over and Over,” off his new pair of albums, James’ message was political in nature but soothing in temperament, protest songs for an age where revolution feels not only possible, but inevitable.