“I can never write like Bob Dylan / Never be as cool as [Kurt] Cobain,” sings Mod Sun at the start of “Perfectly Imperfect,” the song the alt-rocker dropped on June 10. In the new track, Mod Sun (b. Derek Smith) shows the maturity and perspective from living a few decades on this earth. Against the backdrop of a 2020s pop-punk bop, Mod Sun acknowledges that while he is wide and contains multitudes, he also contains limits.
“I’m perfectly imperfect / I can’t be everything they want me to be,” he sings in the chorus. “Every mistake is what makes me, me / I’m perfectly imperfect.” Mod Sun recognizes how he can’t mirror the success of his heroes (“I’ll never be big as the Beatles”) or have certain talents as his contemporaries (“I could never sing like Adele”) but it’s not a pity party. It’s a neon-dyed affirmation of understanding one’s limits, and acknowledging that having flaws or contradictory habits (“All these tattoos but hate needles”) aren’t that bad. It’s a misfits’ anthem for anyone out there who might be struggling with their own journey, something to lift them up when they don’t meet those sets of impossible standards.
“Perfectly Imperfect” is the second release from Mod’s upcoming album. It follows “Rich Kids Ruin Everything,” a song that acts both as a declaration of war on gentrification as well a way for Mod Sun to reintroduce himself. “I grew up a scene kid,” he said, per Kerrang. “I grew up a skateboarder and a pop-punk kid and I used to get made fun of for being all of those, for the way I looked, the way I dressed, for the way I acted, and all the things I love and it’s both awesome and hilarious, yet confusing seeing the general public and pop culture embracing all the things that I would get torn down for. This is a song that I wrote for all the kids that feel confident in their own skin and don’t walk around wearing a costume.”
Mod Sun’s punk cred has also led to some Billboard success. He co-wrote and co-produced Love Sux, the new album from his fiancé Avril Lavigne. Love Sux reached No. 2 on the Top Rock Albums chart, and No. 9 on the US Billboard 200. Mod joined Avril for her Bite Me 2022 Canada Tour in May and is currently set to play at the Firefly Music Festival in September. In the meantime, fans can rewatch Good Mourning, the stoner comedy that Mod and Machine Gun Kelly co-wrote and co-directed. The film also stars Avril, MGK’s fiancée Megan Fox, and stars like Pete Davidson, Whitney Cummings, Dove Cameron, and Becky G.