"My head feels like it is exploding with the amount of information we are forced to consume on a daily basis, and how that information is so distorted there is almost no longer any tangible truth," says James. "The name of my new record is Uniform Distortion because I feel like there is this blanket distortion on society/media and the way we gather our ‘news and important information. More and more of us are feeling lost and looking for new ways out of this distortion and back to the truth...and finding hope in places like the desert where I write this now...finding hope in the land and in the water and in old books offering new ideas and most importantly in each other and love."
Flipping through the pages of The Last Whole Earth Catalogue, a resource that was in 1971 basically the internet before the internet, James stumbled upon a distorted photo of The Illuminated Man by Duane Michals. Immediately moved by the photo, he asked for permission to to use the image as the album cover of the My Morning Jacket frontman's new solo album. The first request to Michals was rejected. In hopes of changing his mind, James wrote a letter to Michals personally and was ultimately allowed to use the image.
Uniform Distortion was produced by Jim James and Kevin Ratterman at Louisville, KY's La La Land, with Ratterman also serving as recording engineer. All songs were written by James, who is backed on the album by bassist Seth Kauffman (Floating Action) and longtime touring drummer Dave Givan, with backing vocals provided throughout by Dear Lemon Trees' Leslie Stevens, Jamie Drake and Kathleen Grace.