‘American Teenager’ by Ethel Cain
“It's just not my year, but I'm all good out here”
I only became familiar with Ethel Cain recently, but she’s quickly found a spot in my regular rotation. “American Teenager” stands out to me, particularly after reading Cain’s inspiration for the song:
Growing up I was surrounded by visions of NASCAR, rock’n’roll, and being the one who would change everything. They make you think it’s all achievable and that if nothing else, you should at least die trying. What they don’t tell you is that you need your neighbor more than your country needs you. I wrote this song as an expression of my frustration with all the things the ‘American Teenager’ is supposed to be but never had any real chance of becoming.
The song gives me “small town middle America” vibes. I wish I could explain what exactly that means a little better, but alas.
Listen to “American Teenager” below: