Valerie June has today (22) released her new single “Call Me A Fool,” which features additional vocals by Queen of Memphis Soul,” the great Stax Records hitmaker Carla Thomas.
The track will be on the folk-blues singer-songwriter’s third album The Moon and Stars: Prescriptions For Dreamers, to be released on March 12 on the artist’s June Tunes label via Fantasy Records. The full-length was recorded at Fresh Young Minds in Los Angeles and Hit Factory Criteria in Miami and co-produced by June with Jack Splash, known for his work with Kendrick Lamar, John Legend, and Alicia Keys.
“Have you ever been a fool for a dream?” asks June of the song’s message. “It might have been a little dream like a kiss from a lover or a big one like the dream of peace that Dr. King, John Lennon, and so many others have had for humanity. No matter how big or how small your dream may be, keep believing, and let the world call you a fool!”
The track follows June’s November 2020 release of the three-track suite featuring “Stay,” the interlude “Stay Meditation” and the concluding “You And I.” The new album is the follow-up to 2017’s highly acclaimed The Order of Time and features 11 songs and three musical interludes, all written by June.
“Call Me A Fool” showcases June’s stirring vocals and has a southern, soulful blues throwback sound, with additional orchestration and horns. It will be preceded on the album by Thomas’ reading of “African Proverb.”
“For this album I wanted to see how we could bring some modern elements into that band-in-the-room approach I’ve taken with my records in the past,” says June. With Splash, she used such reference points as the Afrobeat of Fela Kuti and the string arrangements of David Bowie producer Tony Visconti.
“With this record, it finally became clear why I have this dream of making music,” she goes on. “It’s not for earthly reasons of wanting to be awarded or to win anybody’s love – it’s because dreaming keeps me inquisitive and keeps me on that path of learning what I have to share with the world. When we allow ourselves to dream like we did when we were kids, it ignites the light that we all have within us and helps us to have a sort of magic about the way we live.”
On February 17, June will take part, virtually, in the 34th Annual Tibet House US Benefit Concert, alongside Eddie Vedder, Phoebe Bridgers, Brittany Howard, Angelique Kidjo, and many others.
The Moon and Stars: Prescriptions For Dreamers will be released on March 12. Pre-order it here.
Listen to Valerie June’s Young, Gifted, & Black playlist on Spotify.