Nominated by Colbe Schicatano
Oh where to begin with you Mr.Peck. To put it simply, since riding into town on your debut album, Pony, in 2019, you have done nothing but make big waves in this small town with both your music and your iconic flare.
Orville Peck is an artist who wears his influences on his tassled, rhinestone-encrusted, sleeve. It’s rare that a country star is able to permiate throughout the popular culture with such grace quite like Peck. It’s something in his command of the sorrow and shine of Dolly Parton, the croon of Johnny Cash, and maybe even an ounce of the Elvis razzle dazzle all wrapped up with an Orville Peck cherry that a modern listener can appreciate and connect to in ways we may have thought long passed us by.
That leap into the contemporary scene is what makes Peck such a magnetic artist. For decades the gay cowboy was a symbol talked about in “that-kind-of-bar”, and unbderground scenes. Nevertheless, as a collective we have been out of touch this iconic image of the American west for far too long. The beautiful thing about Peck (as well as contemoraries like lil nas x) is how he has brought this icon back onto the stage. Not as something to be ashamed of or afraid of, but as something to rejoice, to celebrate.
It’d be a disservice not to talk about the mask. Sia, or MF DOOM may come to mind when we see a masked maurauder bringing us dastardly beats and twangy tunes, but Orville’s dsiguise is more than an exit route from the limelight. It is an entry point for anyone to take a walk in his boots. We have all felt that heartbreak that he sings about. That same hurt that makes us human. It’s a chance for the audience to take a part in that feeling of being a human, a cowbow, and everything else that could mean to YOU. As he puts it “…I want people to have their own take on it. I don’t want to lay it out and pin it down. I just don’t think that’s important.”
We love a colorful cowboy! A cowboy who unabashedly shows their feelings. Talks through their woes. One who loves, loses, and at the end of the day, dusts his hat off, and gets back onto his horse to ride again into that sunset of romance, lust, love, and whatever else waits for us in the wild, wild, west.