Given today’s political climate, Medusa-maned folk-soul stylist Valerie June could have gotten angry on her latest fourth effort, “The Order of Time.” But she chose to ignore the obvious and infuse her uplifting life philosophy into songs such as “Shakedown,” “Got Soul” and “Love You Once Made,” which feature her friend Norah Jones on backing vocals. “If you really listen, all the songs kind of say the same thing,” the Memphis native says. “So I feel like my ultimate message is to always keep changing, because I’m learning more and more as the songs keep coming.”
You’ve always been a fervent supporter of Obamacare, and now Republicans are obsessed with repealing it. And you’re not mad as hell?
Well, I don’t hate politics. But I just finished reading “Cosmos” by Carl Sagan, and I was fascinated by his theory that if we could evolve and expand our minds until we could start thinking about the Earth as a whole, then we would no longer be dealing with rich vs. poor, or healthcare vs. non-healthcare. No, we would all be concerned about each other because we all are one. So I try not to get too frustrated by things that are happening here, and I have a lot of hope. And I believe in humanity. And I’m more conscious about food, as well, so maybe we wouldn’t need so much healthcare if we’re more mindful about the chemicals we’re putting into our food.
You have your own concept of time, and humanity’s place within it, right?
I believe that we’re the same stuff of stars and of the ether. And I feel like we’re so small within it all. One life cycle is such a small thing, so the things that we make large enough for us to say, “I’m going to kill someone over this” are really nothing if we just looked at it from an outside perspective. But it’s scary when we think about ourselves as being greater than nature. I sat under a tree recently in Texas, and I received so much information. The tree, as I leaned on it, said to me, “People forget that they can lean on us, any time, and we’ve been around a lot longer than they have.” So if you need some answers, it’s OK to go to nature.
Can a song still change things?
Yes. Anything that can put in the moment can help. I mean, I lit a candle today because I was so anxious, and the scent went across the whole house and just cleaned it out. So something simple like that, even a friend giving you a flower? Sometimes, it’s the littlest things that help.
IF YOU GO
Where: Fillmore, 1805 Geary Blvd., S.F.
When: 8 p.m. Dec. 4
Contact: (415) 346-6000, www.ticketmaster.comNorah JonesOrder of TimePop MusicValerie June