John Cameron Mitchell has released “New American Dream,” the wacky title track to his new benefit album out on Friday.
Directed by Matthew Zanfagna, the video opens with Mitchell laying on the grass swaddled in an American flag. Later, hilarious animation shows Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell eating President Trump. “Thus the diseased body will pass/through Mitch’s gut,” Mitchell sings. “And resolve itself into a stew/a kind of vile fondue.”
Mitchell recorded New American Dream during lockdown. More than 40 collaborators contributed to the record, including Leland, Hedwig co-creator Stephen Trask and musical director Justin Craig, Our Lady J, Ezra Furman, Neutral Milk Hotel’s Julian Koster, Amber Martin and more. The album’s title track will be also used as an animated PSA for Spread the Vote on September 8th.
“New American Dream is a lockdown-inspired remotely organized platonic musical orgy,” Mitchell said in a statement. “The idea started in March during self-isolation in a 100-year-old stone hut near Palm Springs. I encouraged screen/songwriter Our Lady J to send me a piano track over which I wrote the melody/lyrics to ‘See You Again,’ a tribute to the homeless during the pandemic. It went so well that I reached out to a variety of musical friends who sent me their own tracks that I could write to. I even contacted a stranger in the South of France, Izae, on Instagram because I liked his cover of a Hedwig song and we ended up writing two songs for the album.”
“Like the old story about the Stone Soup, where strangers throw whatever food item they possessed into a communal pot, old friends and new donated music, vocals, overdubs, mixing, mastering, video production, art and publicity,” he added. “Soon I realized we had a double album that could benefit the various charities that I’ve been helping through this dark time with Hedwig merch sales and Cameo videos. The whole experience has been such a comfort to us and we hope others will feel it too and add to the pot for the benefit of those in need.”
New American Dream is currently available for preorder via Bandcamp. Proceeds will be donated to Burritos Not Bombs, Transgender Gender-Variant and Intersex Justice Project and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholarship Trust Fund.
New American Dream Tracklist
1. Between the Water and You (with Lance Horne)
2. Sophia (with Izae)
3. New American Dream (with Justin Craig)
4. Picaflor (with Izae)
5. Say Their Names (with Leland, Qya Cristál)
6. No Debt (with Ezra Furman)
7. See You Again (with Our Lady J)
8. Mx Otis Regrets (with Jamie Stewart)
9. American Sickness (with Alynda Segarra)