Too often these days, what passes for Country music is a mixture of light rock, top 40, and hip hop crossover music with a fake twang. And oftentimes, the lyrics are just as shallow and superficial as the track, with an endless stream of Nashville singles about truck beds, dirt roads, and short shorts. There’s even an Applebee’s commercial assaulting us daily with what has to be the most grating song of 2021.
Thankfully, there are still bands like The Typical Johnsons. A little bit of Rock N Roll, a little bit of old-time Country, with just a dash of punk and a spoonful of Roots Americana. The music of The Typical Johnsons leans in a lot of different directions but isn’t necessarily codified by any of them. With influences ranging from Johnny Cash and Drive-By Truckers to Social Distortion and Neil Young, there is something for everyone and each listener takes something different away with them.
Named after an idea that we’re all the same and that we all have the ability to get up and play and perform and write what we feel. The Typical Johnsons stand for the regular person playing guitar in the basement or banging away on the drum kit out in the garage on the weekend. The Typical Johnsons are the guys who get excited when they learn a new chord progression or bass line for a new song and so are their fans. They are Lo-Fi, if you will, regular typical people.
Their newest single, the roots tinged alt-country track “Optimistic Nihilism” is a perfect slice of roots tinged Alt-country. “This single was written initially about some extremely painful real-life events, but after the song was realized in its recorded form we realized there were some universal truths in the song that others could relate to,” explains the band. “This is about the distance that grows between those we care about in our lives and the way we all deal with the human condition in our own way.”
Recorded by Patrick Himes at Reel Love Recording in Dayton Ohio. The track is a single off of the upcoming album “South of Somewhere Real“, a 12 track full-length due out this December on Punkerton Records. “Although this has been two years in the making, these songs feel more pertinent and relevant to us now than they ever did.” says the band.
This will be the band’s third full length, following their debut album The Sailor & The Siren (2016) and Rust Belt Renaissance (2017) as well as two eps, In Other Words (2018) and Wreckage (2019). Along with the single, The Typical Johnsons has also released a lyric video for “Optimistic Nihilism“. The band used the format of a lyric video to help convey the feel of the song more than any live-action video ever could. You can watch the video below: