“Stripped down, it’s hard to deny there’s beauty in this country. We live in the shadow of the Rockies, the Appalachians, the Badlands, the Redwoods, the Grand Canyon, the Great Lakes. But trying to define our culture down as a one specific thing is almost impossible. There’s an America that’s understood by many as a terrifying imperialist, neocolonialist world power. But there’s also the America that was the birthplace of rock and roll, blues, jazz. Our history holds some of the most disgusting examples of racism, slavery and genocide, and at the same time we’re probably the most multi-cultural society in human history. We’ve all inherited varying degrees and remnants of a Judeo-Christian morality, and our lives all function according to certain rules of our capitalist economy. But within those limits there are so many narratives, separate but interweaving, that “America” could never mean the exact same thing to two different people..and why should it?
So, with that said, this is a record about America. It’s about the America that’s filled with small isolated towns, more emotional deathtraps than places to call home. It’s about closed factories, unemployment, and the suicide rate amongst teenagers in the suburbs of Detroit. This is the America populated by emotionally neglectful fathers, and the sons who’ll grow up to become them. It’s a culture that tells you you’ll never fit in if your wet dreams don’t align with your priest’s ideas about gender. But it’s also about having the strength to believe that there’s something worth salvaging in the culture you live in, and that we have the power to effect and change the way things are.
There’s an America that’s full of people with the power to change and challenge the narratives they’ve been fed - to change the cultural assumptions we grow up with. In spite of what we’re told, history is far from static, and though we still have a long way to go, it’s inspiring to take note of all those who’ve rewritten their narratives around fighting back. I hope that America is still alive. And I hope that is the America that this particular piece of Americana will be a part of.