Singer-songwriter Josh Setterfield came to country music from punk, as we discussed in 2017. That’s not the stretch it might sound, as the disciplined song construction needed in punk can be applied to country. Country arguably allows more room for storytelling and, perhaps, a bigger range of emotions, because the audience expects it and is there for it. Therefore, upon releasing his unforgettable, and confronting, new song Setterfield is sending it out to listeners who will be receptive of his honesty.
‘The Way God Made Me’ is a song about depression and self-loathing. Setterfield wrote, produced and recorded the song himself, and it’s in the country rock style of his earlier releases. That style actually gives his words even more power: if this were a softer, acoustic release – which he could certainly pull off, given his voice – it could feel as though Setterfield was singing for and to himself, whereas this song, as he has recorded it, sounds like it is very much a message for and connection to his audience.
‘They say country music is all about the truth,’ says Setterfield. ‘So I wrote the truth. “The Way God Made Me” is about my struggle with depression and not knowing how to get out or explain it to people when they ask. I hit rock bottom one day and thought it was time to address it.’
You’ll have to listen to the lyrics to understand how brave the song is in terms of what he’s revealing – and the resolution of it is not in the lyrics themselves but in the fact that he has released the song. He wants others to hear this; he wants anyone who feels the same way to know that they’re not alone. It is an example of the power of art and why it’s so necessary: to, often, act as a refuge, a balm and a reassurance.
Listen to ‘The Way God Made Me’: