It’s the moment where you feel on top of the world and the wind gets knocked out of your sails that’s the emotional core of Made In America. “It’s never easy being grateful for having the stuff you have or the life you have,” says Goodall. “That was the through line: People on the surface appearing happy, and just beneath it is that same miserable streak, especially in America. I wanted to attack the idea of, ‘you’re rich, you got all this stuff but you’re still slumped over.’” The album, which borrows its title from the Sopranos finale, uncovers uncomfortable truths underneath sly The Nightfly humor and jazzy mind-bending piano jams.
On the album opener “Changed Man,” which features guest drums from Steely Dan drummer Keith Carlock, Goodall sings of going to therapy for the first time. He sings over a lushly arranged production, “I’m a changed man / watch me work the room / I paid a Ph.D. to look at me / now I’m a sunflower in bloom.” Goodall explains, “You can do something positive in your life like go to therapy but still come out with negative traits like overconfidence.” While the writing is clearly funny, the jokes aren’t tossed off distract to hide the craft behind the songs. “Indie rock after a certain point kind of began to take itself too seriously,” says Goodall. “But I just regard two things a lot more seriously than I think most might: improvisation and humor.”