Angaleena's former Kentucky coal miner father, Jimmy Presley, opens the title song of her debut solo album with a personal narrative. Many of the tracks on American Middle Class revolve around the struggles of people working to make ends meet. "You keep doing it. You be proud of it," she told Country Weekly. "I feel like it's a necessary evil. You recognize yourself as one of the heroes of the country."
The song features one of Presley's biggest musical heroes, Patty Loveless, whom she met through her fellow Pistol Annies member Miranda Lambert. "They had toured together in Switzerland. She had came out to a Pistol Annies show in Atlanta, and we clicked instantly - like we were kindred spirits," Presley explained to Billboard magazine. "I was at her house one weekend, cooking and singing, and I played her the rough of the record. She gravitated toward 'American Middle Class.' She said it was kind of a modern-day 'Coal Miner's Daughter.' I asked her to sing on it, and she did."
Presley explained the song's meaning to Billboard: "It's my story of how I grew up - right at poverty's door," she said. "We were going to fake it till we make it. My mom would cut the little Keds signs and hot-glue them to dollar store shoes so her daughter had Keds and she could hold her head up and be proud until you have something to be proud of. It works."
"I'm so proud my parents had that work ethic," Presley continued. "They pushed me. They made me go to college, and then I got my degree and said, 'Here, Mom. I'm going to Nashville.' But I have all these stories to write about, and I definitely wouldn't have as many to write about if they hadn't forced me to grow up before I came here.''