Rufus Wainright has been gearing up to release his first album of new material since 2012 (2015’s Prima Donna was a recording of his 2009 opera and 2016’s Take All My Loves: 9 Shakespeare Sonnets featured adaptations of Shakespeare sonnets), and now it’s officially announced. It’s called Unfollow the Rules and it comes out April 24 via BMG (pre-order). It was produced by Mitchell Froom (Crowded House, Richard Thompson, Paul McCartney, etc). It features last year’s “Trouble In Paradise,” as well as the just-released “Damsel In Distress,” and here’s what Rufus says about the new song:

“Damsel In Distress” is an homage to Joni Mitchell in some ways, particularly the structure. My husband and I now live in Laurel Canyon. I wasn’t that familiar with Joni’s music but Jörn became obsessed and took me on a journey into her music. We ended up hanging out with her and I get now why she’s one of the greats. So it’s part Laurel Canyon, part a song about a personal relationship that I’m trying to come to terms with, but mostly my Mitchell virginity being broken.

About the album overall, Rufus also adds, “What I would like this album to symbolize is a coming together of all the aspects of my life which have made me a seasoned artist. My aim is to emulate the greats of yore whose second acts produced their finest work – Leonard Cohen when he made THE FUTURE, when Sinatra became Sinatra in his 40s, when Paul Simon put out GRACELAND. Pop music isn’t always about your waistline. Many songwriters improve with age. I’m flying the flag for staying alive!”

Rufus has also announced a tour, including shows at City Winery NYC on May 1 and 3 and one at Long Island’s Paramount Theatre (5/2) right in between. The City Winery shows are on VinoFile presale now and the Paramount show is current on Rufus SEATED Fan presale with Live Nation/Citi/Paramount presales starting today (2/27) at 10 AM. All three shows go on sale to the general public on Friday (2/28) at 10 AM.

All dates are listed, with the videos for both singles, below.

1. Trouble In Paradise
2. Damsel In Distress
3. Unfollow the Rules
4. You Ain’t Big
5. Romantical Man
6. Peaceful Afternoon
7. Only the People That Love
8. This One’s For the Ladies (THAT LUNGE!)
9. My Little You
10. Early Morning Madness
11. Hatred
12. Alone Time

Rufus Wainwright — 2020 Tour Dates
19 – North Charleston, SC – High Water Festival *
24 – Bremen, Germany – Jazzahead Festival *
25 – Bourges, France – Festival de Printemps de Bourges
27 – London, United Kingdom – Islington Assembly Hall (Two shows) ^
1 – New York, NY – City Winery ^
2 – Huntington, NY – Paramount Theatre ^
3 – New York, NY – City Winery, NY ^
8 – San Francisco, CA – The Fillmore ^
9 – Los Angeles, CA – Troubadour (Two shows) ^
11 – Solana Beach, CA – Belly Up #
17 – Guadalajara, Mexico – Corona Capital *
30 – Kværndrup, Denmark – Heartland Festival *

2 – Istanbul, Turkey – Zorlu PAC Jazz Festival *

4 – Caldas De Reis, Spain – PortAmérica *
5 – Madrid, Spain – Noches del Botanico *
7 – Oeiras Valley, Portugal – Festival Jardins do Marques *
14 – La Rochelle, France – Francofolies Festvial *
18 – Echternach, Luxembourg – Echterlive *


1 – Glasgow, UK – Kelvingrove Park
2 – Co Waterford, Ireland – All Together Now *

6 – Paris, France @Grand Rex ^