When Cody Jasper is singing in the song “Who You Are,” he’s speaking less to the audience and more to himself. There’s a self-exploratory tone to the lyrics in this single that immediately came off as existential when I sat down with the song for the first time just the other day, but it’s not pretentious in the way that a lot of similar content would be.
When you’ve got his smoky country vocal, you can sing what you want how you want, and Jasper isn’t letting this fact escape our attention for anything in this latest performance to bear his name in the byline.
Instead of creating a big buildup to the release in “Who You Are,” the catharsis is spread out across the whole track, making it just a little easier for Jasper to make his voice the central star of the song. He lights up this hook with his signing, and I don’t think it would feel like the release it does with a different singer trying to get us to the climax here. Jasper is just too delicate, too deliberate with his movements, to be replicated by any player in this performance, let alone someone outside of the underground he’s been operating within for a while now.
I love how powerful the guitar solo is just past the 3:15 mark, and in a time that has been leaving a lot to be desired when it comes to this kind of a rock accent, it’s nice to encounter an artist who wants to use dexterous sonic elements to their own gain.
While some might look at this part of the track as being a little indulgent, I think it’s the sort of nod to the old school in rock that a lot of artists should be including in their work – though so few actually are.
Though I wasn’t initially expecting the level of volume on the bassline and vocal the same in this track, it doesn’t create an unevenness in the scope of the music at all – the exact opposite, in all honesty. It’s made me very curious to know just how big a venue Cody Jasper could perform in without sounding drowned out by his surroundings, and if there’s anything we can learn about what he says in “Who You Are” on this professional front, it’s that there aren’t many spots he couldn’t play and turn into his own.
If you like country, roots rock, old-fashioned rock n’ roll, and Americana that isn’t wearing a post-hipster identity, you might be jonesing for some Cody Jasper this summer and not even know it yet. “Who You Are” made me realize how rare quality country/rock mixtures have been to find in the past few years alone, and while it’s not reinventing the wheel stylistically or structurally, this is such a fun and intriguing listen that I can see myself returning to Jasper’s discography a little later down the line to find out what he’s been up to.