There’s a circularity to the structure of the new single “Who You Are” by Cody Jasper that at first feels very country-specific, but once we take in the warmth of the guitars, the strength of the lead vocal, and the bombast of the arrangement in general, there’s no relegating this track to one genre over another. If you listen closely, you’re going to hear shards of every American style in the guts of this music – country, rock, blues, even soul music is influencing the delivery Jasper has for us, and he isn’t scared of exploring his abilities to get the most out of a melody here.
One of the more concerning elements of contemporary rock music that I’ve been running into among this player’s peers has been a failure of young players to incorporate old school concepts where they actually make some sense, but that doesn’t appear to be too much of a problem in “Who You Are.” This is a singer/songwriter who will do what he has to for us to appreciate the tone of a single, and if this wasn’t so he wouldn’t be dedicating himself to the rich sound of this song at all.
These harmonies are some of the richest I’ve listened to in any track all year long, and I think they’re made just a little more intriguing thanks to the clarity with which the guitar and piano parts are being presented. The lyrics Jasper sings are never overthought, but they’re also not so straight and narrow as to leave this vocal without anything potent to unleash. I was immediately enamored with the tonal matching this vocalist is able to do with his lyricism, and there’s scarcely a moment in which he doesn’t sound like someone who has a vested interest in every one of the words he’s singing here.
Add in the blushing groove in the climax and the smooth fluidity of the melodies and “Who You Are” is far and away the most stacked piece this artist has released in his career, and it’s definitely a good look for his brand moving forward.
Humble in tone but still packing a confidence that I want to hear a lot more of in all of my underground listening excursions, “Who You Are” is a little bit of a country and a whole lot of rock n’ roll to feed your senses. There’s a grand history of rock music in Texas, and amalgamating aesthetics coming out of the Lone Star State in general, and without being too much of a puritan I think Cody Jasper is doing a good job of continuing the tradition with songs like this one.
There’s a bucolic undertow here that’s waiting to pull you out into the countryside with it around every turn, and when you mix in the electricity of the guitar parts in “Who You Are” with the redneck rambunctiousness of the lyrics, tempo, and melodic framing, you get a style that has the potential to make this singer/songwriter a lot of money and new fans.