Unfollow The Rules

Album: Unfollow The Rules (2020)
Play Video


  • Rufus Wainwright came up with this number after his friend Sarah Jessica Parker asked him to write an original song for a film she was producing. The starting point was Wainwright's daughter Viva telling him, "Daddy, I just want to unfollow the rules."

    The film, titled Here and Now, stars Parker as aspiring jazz vocalist Vivienne. She performs "Unfollow the Rules" in the movie.
  • Wainwright explained the song's meaning to Mojo magazine: "A lot of the song came from physiotherapy: me hitting my 40s, the death of relatives, sifting through the wreckage to find the point of trauma before you can move forward. But it could equally be about the world, rather than myself."
  • This was the title track of Rufus Wainwright's ninth album of original material. It was his first record produced by Mitchell Froom, who has also worked with Crowded House and Elvis Costello.
  • The title has a longstanding literal meaning, but in the age of social media, "unfollow" also applies to Facebook. Wainwright liked how the phrase has adapted and felt that it reflected his current state. At the time, he was looking back at his life and trying to figure out what parts of it he could discard, or "unfollow."


Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Barney Hoskyns Explores The Forgotten History Of Woodstock, New York

Barney Hoskyns Explores The Forgotten History Of Woodstock, New YorkSong Writing

Our chat with Barney Hoskyns, who covers the wild years of Woodstock - the town, not the festival - in his book Small Town Talk.

Tom Keifer of Cinderella

Tom Keifer of CinderellaSongwriter Interviews

Tom talks about the evolution of Cinderella's songs through their first three albums, and how he writes as a solo artist.

Dar Williams

Dar WilliamsSongwriter Interviews

A popular contemporary folk singer, Williams still remembers the sticky note that changed her life in college.

Director Wes Edwards ("Drunk on a Plane")

Director Wes Edwards ("Drunk on a Plane")Song Writing

Wes Edwards takes us behind the scenes of videos he shot for Jason Aldean, Dierks Bentley and Chase Bryant. The train was real - the airplane was not.

Tommy James

Tommy JamesSongwriter Interviews

"Mony Mony," "Crimson and Clover," "Draggin' The Line"... the hits kept coming for Tommy James, and in a plot line fit for a movie, his record company was controlled by the mafia.

16 Songs With a Heartbeat

16 Songs With a HeartbeatSong Writing

We've heard of artists putting their hearts into their music, but some take it literally.