Southern rocker Jim James has always been a bit of a hippy. As lead singer of band My Morning Jacket, James would sometimes record his vocals in an empty grain silo. His appearance, bearded and scraggily, looks like it was inspired by the late, great Johnny Van Zant, former lead singer of Lynyrd Skynyrd. And even the music he’s known for, steeped in American folk and psychedelic rock, is reminiscent of the songs that were popular in the 1970s.
So it’s no surprise that James first solo album, Regions of Light and Sound of God, released last February, represented a kind of spiritual journey for him, full of introspective lyrics of love, religion and the ever-changing world. The album’s opener, “State of the Art (A.E.I.O.U.),” set the tone for the album’s meditative theme by establishing a narrative on how humans interact with each other and material things. James recently released a video for it (see below), which was directed by San Francisco-based production company Clean White Lines.
The video depicts a character with a TV as a head, wandering through the country and meeting various locals along the way. Based on the lyrics of “State of the Art,” it may be a commentary on how the world is increasingly becoming dependent on technology.