One of the brightest singer-songwriters in North Texas, Cody Lynn Boyd has some new music coming out this week. “Feels the Same” will hit all streaming services Friday along with a video. Boyd describes the track as kind of a “family song,” with Southern gothicism and religious imagery mixing all together.
Singer-songwriters? Fort Worth is full of them. What separates Boyd is not only his prolificacy — he pumps out singles at an alarmingly steady (for a musician) clip — but his niche retro sensibility. We are all aware of his mod look — bowl cut, black turtleneck, the whole deal. The thing is, he can match his obvious influences and even transcend them.
Basically, Boyd can get away with dressing like an extra from The Thomas Crown Affair because his music is that good.
While the form of his tunes ranges from bare-bones folk to blistering rock, it’s all united by his knack for catchiness. The people from the ’00s who threw their money at Ryan Adams and Bright Eyes need to give Boyd a listen. And KXT and Fortress Festival and every other tastemaker in North Texas needs to Boyd up #boydup (it’s a thing now) (no, it’s not) if they haven’t already.
Boyd was born in Fort Worth but spent his childhood in Galveston. Hurricane Rita brought him and his family back to the Fort in 2005 when he was 12 years old, which was around when he started writing his own music.
“I would say being introduced to Disney musicals growing up like Mary Poppins and Robin Hood and the old-school classics that have music incorporated with their stories — those were always fun as a kid,” Boyd said. “I got a lot older, and I liked Grease a lot, and when I was about 15 or 16, I got into Bright Eyes and Bob Dylan and soon after Tom Waits, and that’s when I wanted to write my own songs and release them.”
His sensibilities reveal themselves in his music — the pop from Poppins, the carnivalesque “Eighteen Tons” from Tom, and “Clocks crumble before our eyes / A haunted harmony for a lullaby” from ol’ Bob.
Boyd’s body of work stretches back to 2016-ish, when he released his debut album. Recorded with and produced by Mat West, The Late Recordings is a delightful and — dare we say? — Beatles-esque trip through retro rock as seen through a contemporary lens. While the instrumentation is sparse — just Boyd on acoustic and West on electric, drums, and keybs — the result is full-bodied, a “Lucy in the Sky with Cubic Zirconia.” But it works. Listenability is a solid 10 out of 10.
Boyd followed up his album with the haunting, epic, band effort, “I Played with Fire,” in 2017, and over the years while working with engineers/producers like Taylor Tatsch (Maren Morris, Cut Throat Finches, Little Black Dress) and Clint Niosi (see: HearSay), Boyd has begun focusing almost exclusively on singles. He’s released 14 to date.
“Ever since I released ‘I Played with Fire,’ I kind of just stuck with singles,” Boyd said. “I think since I’m not a big artist or anything, it kind of worked in my favor to some degree. I feel if I released an album, a lot of songs might be forgotten or not be listened to all the way through, so I’d rather spread out my song discography and every few months release a new tune instead of 10 songs at once. For now, I like putting singles out.”
Juan R. Govea contributed reporting to this story.