The very first thing that drew me to Orville Peck was the mask: a strap of leather covering the top half of his face and long flowing fringe obscuring the bottom half. I was scrolling through twitter and this cowboy that could have come from the world of David Lynch just kept appearing. There is something about his visage that sparks curiosity; a desire to dig deeper into where i came from. Soon enough I discovered his sound. While the mysterious aura and instantly iconic look hooked me, it was his genre bending and personal music that kept me coming back.
Pony, Peck’s debut album, is as close to perfect as one can get. It’s an immediately interesting statement from Peck, touching upon personal themes through multiple genres and influences that are made all his own. Yes, you could relate his voice to that of Roy Orbison, Elvis Presley, Chris Issak and countless other classic deep voices. Yes, his sound travels through the straight up country realm while making stops in shoegaze soundscapes and exuberant rocking dalliances that leave you needing more. Ultimately, the melding of all these elements are made into something uniquely of Orville Peck.
The album jumps around sonically and yet remains true to its personal themes of identity, past loves, LGBTQIA+and odes to solemn solitude. Songs like opener “Dead of Night” and the contemplative “Big Sky”starts things off with stark instrumentals that slowly roll along into even darker territory before Peck’s bright and deep voice breaks through. The latter half of the album embrace its country base more wholeheartedly with “Take You Back (The Iron Hoof Cattle Call)”, a rip roaring anthem that never takes a moment to rest. All of it coming from a point of view that feels utterly sincere and welcoming.
With great songs and a theatrical look, Orville Peck’s unique character takes to the stage wonderfully. Peck’s live performances are nothing short of enthralling as he feel larger than life when serenading the crowd with his deep coon, but connects with the crowd with some of the most relatable stage banter. Adding to his mysterious charm and engaging performance are his backing band made up of the Frigs, delivering the exact sort of propellant for a fantastic live experience.
If you were quick enough to get tickets to his Lincoln Hall show this Saturday, you are in for a treat! In any case you can listen to Pony on streaming services and discover what this mysterious cowboy has up his sleeves.