Reid originally created "American Let Down" in 2010, where most of the instrumentation and vocals were recorded in San Francisco, California. He liked the song, but didn't feel like it was finished, so it was put off.
While staying in Fresno, California, in April of 2011, he reworked the songs structure, making it shorter, but Reid thought it still needed something. The song was again put off to work on other projects.
Finally, after living in Springfield, Virginia, for about two months, the track was revisited. The lead guitar was added, as well as a few other tweeks here and there, mixed down, and finally released as you hear it now.