Orvile Peck

‘Pony’ by Orville Peck confirmed my love for country music

To celebrate National Album Day, we’re going through the albums that mean something to us and telling the stories behind what makes them so special.

Johnny Cash introduced me to country as a youngster, alongside Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Watching the film and listening to Cash sing, I ran around the house pretending I was a cowboy, using the broom as the horse. Kacey Musgraves reminded me of my love for it late last year, her poppin’ hoppin’ rootin’ tootin’ country sounds brightening up my day. But, Orville Peck’s Pony made me fall in love with it, once and for all.

The change in tempo is refreshing, as is the multitude of song structures used across the album, from beautiful ballads to pure country-pop songs. Peck’s way with words is refreshing. It’s playful, subtle, quirky – “spend Johnny’s Cash, hitch another ride.” It’s honest too, like all great albums. Peck doesn’t hide from anything, apart from showing us his face, he certainly hides from that.

This album was a surprise. It wasn’t on my radar until release day, so I had no expectations – a total blank slate. Expectations can sometimes ruin a record, especially when you have several months to wait. This came out of nowhere, he came out of nowhere, and the surprise and shock when listening made Pony all the more special.

When you find an album unexpectedly, the feeling is indescribable. You want to tell everyone, you want everyone to hear what you’re hearing. It’s the feeling of an academy player scoring a goal for your beloved football club – Ohhhh Tammy Tammy… – there’s shock, astonishment, excitement, and a great sense of belief that something truly special has just happened. Peck put a spring in my step and a kick up my arse – after listening to Pony, I wore my suede tassel jacket and cuban cowboy boots for a month straight, bouncing around Newcastle – who the hell did I think I was?

Pony made me realise country is my thing. Pony made me accept that I like country. Pony is the album I’ve been forcing down people’s throats for 9 months or so now, to some varying degree of success. I am a Peckhead, and you will be too, soon enough.

Read our interview with Orville Peck in Volume 4 of The Rodeo Magazine, available HERE!