Rufus Wainwright pays homage to Joni Mitchell on new single, ‘Damsel In Distress’

"I get now why she’s one of the greats"

Rufus Wainwright has announced his return with the release of a new single, ‘Damsel In Distress’. You can listen to it below.

Taken from his upcoming new album, ‘Unfollow The Rules’, the song was inspired by Joni Mitchell after Wainwright met her with his husband.

Speaking about new single, Wainwright said: “[it] is a 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.”

You can listen to the new song here:


Tracklisting for ‘Unfollow The Rules’
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

The album is said to be inspired by “middle age, married life, fatherhood, friends, loss, London, and Laurel Canyon.

Wainwright added: “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,” says Wainwright. “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!”

The new album, Wainwright’s ninth, will be released on April 24 via BMG and to mark the release, Wainwright will play two intimate shows at Islington’s Assembly Hall on April 27 ahead of a full UK tour. There will be an early show at 6pm followed by another at 8:45.

Details of the full UK tour will be announced soon; dates already announced are listed below.

24 – London, Islington Assembly Hall (two shows – @6pm, 8:45pm)

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