What to stream this week: Orville Peck’s Pony

I’ll be honest: while I knew of Orville Peck, I did not listen to him or know his music until I watched season 2 of HBO’s Euphoria. I know, that makes me what some would consider a fake fan, but at least I’m admitting it! Orville Peck’s Pony has been on repeat for me the past couple of days; it is safe to say it is my new musical obsession. 

Pony Album cover

Before we get into the album, I think it is important to get to know who Orville Peck is. He is a gay country-rock artist. He wears a fringed mask, has never shown his face, and never confirmed his real name (although people have speculations). Pony was self-produced by Peck and was released in 2019.

The album opens with Peck’s most popular song, “Dead of Night.” It is a moody song about a young romance. Peck’s vocals are good in this song, and it is clear why this is his most popular, especially as it was featured in Euphoria.

“Turn to Hate” is a song about “the anxiety that comes with being on the outside of things, treading the line between existing as a loner but not letting that solitude turn into resentment,” Peck told The Line of Best Fit. This song is a favorite of mine from the album. Peck makes a simple yet significant reference to J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye. This is one of those songs that I feel would work really well in a movie soundtrack as it conveys emotion very, very well.

Another song from the album that stood out to me is “Queen of the Rodeo.” Honestly, it is mostly because I think the song is fun, albeit the subject matter is a little more melancholic. Peck kind of uses this idea of a rodeo queen as a way of describing the sadness and loneliness that comes after a really exciting experience, such as being the queen of the rodeo.

Something I find interesting about Peck’s musicality is that while he is rooted in the genre of country, is that he likes to write kind of an old kind of country. He isn’t singing about tractors or beer. The things he writes about feels like the old west. His songs feel like the music that would be in an old Western. This causes his music to sometimes drift into other sub-genres. For example, the song “Roses Are Falling” sounds like a ballad that people would slow dance to in the 1960s.

Pony came out three years ago, and while I am patiently waiting for new music, I will continue to stream this album. It is definitely worth checking out, especially for those who are into country or rock music and are looking for something that checks those boxes but is also different than anything else being produced right now.

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