The two singer-songwriters co-wrote the song, which touches on the state of the country in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, and they perform it in a surreal music video that Mitchell directed with animator Nathan Stassin.
“I can’t believe I got to co-write with Alynda Segarra of Hurray for the Riff Raff, who is my Springsteen, Chrissie Hynde, and Patti Smith all rolled into one,” Mitchell said in a statement. “‘American Sickness’ uses the pandemic as a metaphor for what might be killing us spiritually. It’s a modern-day murder ballad, but what got murdered was idealism. Nathan Stassin’s brilliant animation perfectly captures the contagious ‘fever dream’ we all live in today.”
“American Sickness” will be featured on Mitchell’s upcoming album, which he recorded during the pandemic in 2020. All proceeds from the song and album will benefit the Burritos Not Bombs food bank, Trans-GI Justice Project, and Dr. MLK Scholarship Trust Fund.
This December, Mitchell will reunite with Hedwig and the Angry Inch co-creator Stephen Trask for three performances at New York City venue The Town Hall. Tickets and more information can be found here.