Release Date: Mar 22, 2019
Record label: Sub Pop
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock
A royal red cloth curtain hangs behind Orville Peck 's piercing blue-eyed stare, leather-fringed mask and burgundy Stetson. There's the well-travelled familiarity in his Sub Pop debut - the rodeo's twang working the miles between graft and glamour, between Reba McEntire and Willie Nelson. But it's a collection that bypasses the traditional Americana roads in favour of the scenic route.
"You a real cowboy?" "Well, that depends on what you think a real cowboy is …" That bit of dialogue from Urban Cowboy, the movie that turned country music into an unfortunate sort of mass market phenomenon in the '80s, comes to mind while listening to Pony, the debut album from Canadian vocalist and songwriter Orville Peck. Peck sure knows how to dress like a cowboy, he has a voice that's big as all outdoors, and he can write a melody with the dramatic sweep of a classic John Ford western. But that fringed mask Peck wears, the guitar figures that evoke shoegaze and goth sounds as much as vintage country & western, and the casual references to getting high with hustlers, sexually ambiguous rodeo riders, and fellow cowpokes calling him pretty make it clear Peck is not about to become the new Marty Robbins.