GIFs By Jennifer Rivera
The singer's brand new album, his first for his very own Coast House Records, is premiering right now over at codysimpson.mtv.com -- before its official release on July 10.
The singer lets go of his bubble-gum pop days and instead finds a sound that's mature, guitar-driven, laid-back and filled with catchy choruses and heartfelt, inspiring lyrics. Giving us some serious Jack Johnson and John Mayer vibes, Cody has clearly found a new path for himself and no doubt this marks a strong first chapter in the next phase of his career.
So what's the meaning behind all of these songs? Well, we sat down with Cody recently and he broke down each song -- inspiration, meaning, personal stories -- in GIFs! So while you listen to his album, make sure you check them out.
"Free"MTV | Jennifer Rivera
Cody kicks things off singing about a girl he saw on Venice Beach. While he never introduced himself to her, he revealed that her boho-laid-back style set off a creative spark. "She was smiling and it inspired me -- I want to write a song about a girl like that... about a girl who’s just so free and does whatever she wants."
"Driftwood"MTV | Jennifer Rivera
Cody wrote this song when he first started making his album about a "transitional process," and incorporates not only his viewpoints, but some "very honest lyrics." His favorite? "The naked truth is only true sometimes."
"New Problems"MTV | Jennifer Rivera
Cody wrote this track about his first breakup with ex-girlfriend, Gigi Hadid, when he was in one of his "phases." You know, when you're 18 and you just want to "love everyone" for a couple of weeks and then all of a sudden you "hate everyone."
"I wrote that in a little bit more of a somber couple of weeks that I had on a break with my girlfriend," he said. "Definitely not calling her out again or anything; it had more of a negative connotation."
"Flower"MTV | Jennifer Rivera
Cody's first single off of the album was written when he was "up there," like up in smoke. "You know, ‘I’ll pick you a flower’ is my way of being -- you know, I don’t care if we don’t get married."
"Thotful"MTV | Jennifer Rivera
This song is definitely not what you think; it has nothing do with "thot" and everything to do with "thought." Cody just threw in the song title as a "culturally relevant term just to start a conversation," but in no way at all is he disrespecting women. In fact, it's a completely fabricated story about what life can be like in Los Angeles.
"You know how some women are in Hollywood in and stuff -- it’s quite interesting and little amusing when I go up to a pretty girl or something and she’s got her eyes on Leo DiCaprio, cause he’s over there. You know because he’s got more," he said. "Something like that."
"I'm Your Friend"MTV | Jennifer Rivera
Being one of the last songs written for the album, it's a "simple" coming-of-age song. The song talks about the struggles of growing up and feeling like "your parents don’t love you or you don’t have any friends or you don’t know what you’re going to do with your life," but Cody's there to remind you that he's there for you.
"It Don't Matter"MTV | Jennifer Rivera
Turns out this is actually a cover song of pro surfer, Donavon Frankenreiter's, someone Cody has been a fan of since was a kid.
"It was like a, 'Dude, can I share this with my fans' type of thing,' Cody said of his conversation with Donavon. "So we did a remake of that song."
"ABC"MTV | Jennifer Rivera
No joke, this song is about a bee Cody saw flying around in Malibu and he just thought to himself: "I wonder what it would be like if I were a bee?" So he wrote about it.
"If I was a bee maybe I could see things from a better perspective or something -- being able to... be a bee would be kind of cool..." he said. "It’s just a really cool conscious message and I was psyched on it. It was silly to me at first and then I turned it into something that could be on the album."
"Livin’ Easy"MTV | Jennifer Rivera
Cody doesn't need a lot to make him happy and that's exactly what this track is all about. The singer admitted that he did get caught up in "materialistic tendencies," but realized it was so "meaningless and pointless."
"Wilderness"MTV | Jennifer Rivera
Cody gets in touch with his nature side on this track, which was actually a tape demo that they kept for the album. The singer partnered with Surf Rider foundation to aid the Santa Barbara oil spill and bring awareness to the harm that it has caused because it "makes me super sad to see and I'm in the ocean a lot."
"Still Smiling"MTV | Jennifer Rivera
While the title might sound happy, the lyrics in the song stem from a "darker place."
"To me this was actually a song about a girl that cut her head off and sewed it upside down so that she’d always be smiling because she always frowns," he said. "It’s intense, but the sad girl pretends to be happy."
"Love Yourself"MTV | Jennifer Rivera
Cody has coined this "bluesy stomper" as one of his favorites due to the fact that it's "so messy."
"A lot of the messaging on the album has a lot of similarities from song to song and this one [is] super groovy," he said. "Don’t dwell on the past, love yourself today. My first lyric in my verse is, 'They say don’t cry about spilled milk.' So it’s a groovy one."
"Happy Little Hippie"MTV | Jennifer Rivera
Seems like that girl from Venice Beach certainly made an impression, since this song was also written about her. Cody got the idea by just "admiring her and imagining the way she would live her life."
“She said she don’t watch the news/ It’s all bad/ It’s all sad/ It turns her brown eyes blue,” he sings on the song.
"Palm Of Your Hand"MTV | Jennifer Rivera
This "simple" and "uplifting" song was written in just 20 minutes in Cody's bedroom on the ukulele and started out as a poem -- and a perfect way to end the album.