Chris McCooey Releases “Just Like You” (SINGLE)


Leading up to his new album Missing Pieces, Bay Area-based Chris McCooey is releasing a dynamite lead single “Just Like You,” which fans both new and old are sure to gravitate towards. Drawing inspiration from McCooey’s Americana roots with a sound that evokes Roy Orbison, both in McCooey’s vocal delivery as well as his twinkling production and guitar melody and tone, “Just Like You” is a perfect indicator that Chris McCooey is back with plenty of gravitas, plenty of talent, and plenty more to say.


“Just Like You” is a single that arrives at the perfect point in recent musical history, its nostalgic guitar and heartfelt lyrics hitting hard amongst a sea of music that sounds nothing like it. McCooey’s brilliant songwriting levels up even more than when we had last seen him on his 2021 EP Better Days, and McCooey describes it as a song “written after years of struggle and self-discovery. The song culminated in the realization that the missing pieces of the past had to be dealt with to provide a strong foundation to move forward into the future.” It’s pretty heavy subject matter, but at the end of the day, it’s an impressive track that taps into modern Americana in a way nobody else is.

There are a ton of instruments mixed into “Just Like You,” with the usual suspects of guitar, bass, light percussion, and vocals making up the main pull — listeners will also be tickled to discover the flourishes of glockenspiel and strings (with viola, violin, and cello) sprinkled tastefully across the single, giving the soundscape plenty of unique textures to play around with. McCooey’s voice is another element in the mix that blends perfectly with the song’s musical makeup, and his Orbison-esque performance is certain to transport listeners back to yesteryear, with a retro approach and appeal that blend together modern production and old-timey inhibitions. It’s refreshing, to say the least, and getting a song as fresh and confident as “Just Like You” with a message as powerful as the one McCooey has feels like a real treat.


With the single comes a music video, which features McCooey’s expert vocals and guitar skills lit by dim lightbulbs before it shifts to a white room where the singer searches for a missing puzzle piece, matching the lyrics and album title, as perspective shifts between McCooey in his current age and what some could take as his past self — it’s a powerful message conveyed in the simplest ways, delivering a music video that checks all of the boxes. The art of the music video feels all but lost in the current media landscape, with TikToks and tweets taking the place of MTV music video blocks. The simplicity of McCooey’s latest video feels like the “indie film” equivalent of what music videos used to be, and for a song that packs such a punch, the indie film mentality is exactly what “Just Like You” should have with its visual representation. The single delivers in a way that most modern songs don’t, and McCooey is well aware of it. “Just Like You” paves the road perfectly for Missing Pieces.

Trace Whittaker