On October 18, Nashville punk singer-songwriter Jack Evan Johnson will release a new album, American Pink. Ahead of the album’s release, Johnson has shared the new track “Cody’s American Dream,” premiering exclusively below.
“Cody’s American Dream” is an epic, eight-minute journey into the life of self-described “roughneck” Cody, whose story Johnson narrates with increasing intensity as the track builds. Johnson recalls Lou Reed in his spoken-word vocal, with the lyric itself nodding to the down-on-their-luck characters often heard in songs by Tom Waits or Bruce Springsteen. A tight rhythm section builds tension for much of the song, before Cody’s story reaches a fever pitch with screaming guitars and wailing vocals.
“Like nearly all the distinctly American characters populating American Pink, ‘Cody’s American Dream’ is the story of someone doing the wrong things for the right reasons, and the story ends badly. It was actually inspired by a roughneck that I met in Utah named Cody. I don’t know where he is now, but I hope he’s doing better than the guy in the song. I hope we all are. Perhaps with a little more empathy, and a little more sleep, we can be.”
When he isn’t playing music, Johnson works as a journalist. American Pink is his third studio album. Johnson recorded American Pink at Ardent Studios in Memphis alongside Eddie Spear, known for his work with Brandi Carlile and Chris Stapleton.
Listen to “Cody’s American Dream” below.