Full of drama and big ballads that deserve to be played at full volume on a turntable, Show Pony carries the country genre into the forefront of fresh summer sounds.
We’ve been waiting for Orville Peck’s Show Pony a bit longer than we thought we would as he pushed the release to focus on raising money and awareness for the Black Lives Matter movement (see his full comment on Instagram below). Knowing that “this is only the start of the marathon for equality” it’s been well worth the wait as Show Pony is a rich six-track EP that shows Orville’s range and showcases the inherent message of pride shining through his lyrics.
Six tracks of solid summer anthems, this is exactly what we want from new music releases, and it looks like the trend will be around for a while (Troye Sivan’s six-track In a Dream EP is out later this month too). We don’t need an album of eighteen songs with four hits, and fourteen pretty average songs, artists should be embracing the flexibility of digital releases and streaming to put out cohesive work.
Show Pony demonstrates Orville’s skill as he produced, wrote, and played (nearly) everything on it and did so while on tour last year. Singles ‘Summertime’ and ‘No Glory in the West’ plays up the bold guitar-led vocals that we fell in love with on last March’s debut album Pony. The twang on ‘Kids’ does something similar with its intimate declaration that ‘neither one of us has died’ sitting with us long after the next track has started.
‘Drive Me, Crazy’ is a new shift opening with piano and it seems certain this track will be soundtracking a dramatic driving scene with the protagonist staring longingly out of the windscreen at the open road in a movie, or at least our own lives, sometime soon. Listen out for the traffic and radio messages for a sense of detail in this production.
If you are going to get a feature on a six-track EP, Shania Twain is one of the better options out there. Be sure to watch their music video too for some incredible stage outfits and gravelly harmonies. Fingers crossed that when Orville Pecks opens for Harry Styles at Harryween next year, he drags Harry on-stage to duet on ‘Legends Never Die’. Not only would their vocals be insane together but they’d look so good together in bedazzled cowboy boots.
Show Pony closes with the feminist statement song ‘Fancy’. This is absolutely one you want to turn right up so you can fully embrace the drama of the narrative. Reminding me a bit of the intense but excellent productions of Meatloaf, when the instrumental kicks off in the final minute I wanted to throw my imaginary cowboy hat in the air. Ridiculously good.
Show Pony is a dramatic declaration that Orville Peck is here to stay, mask and all.