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Watchlist: Orville Peck "Bronco"

Orville Peck exists less as a person than an idea. The masked singer, Brooklyn Vegan speculates Canadian punk veteran Daniel Pitout, has spent the past few years near-singlehandedly modernizing the traditionalist baritone Americana popularized by such figures as Waylon Jennings and Roy Orbison. He is currently in the process of delivering his second studio album, Bronco, via Columbia Records, in four track installments.

At first listen, Bronco seems to arrive a long forgotten undercard on a dusty Texas jukebox, an archetypical patchwork of lonesome slide guitars and yeehaws not specific to any one emotion. In many ways, however, the LP's vintage feel is both intentional and false. Rather, it presents as its creator: modern, but shrouded in the exaggerated trappings of bygone country stars–as if the line separating Orville Peck and his mysterious creator has been blurred beyond recognition.

Lyrically, Bronco sees Peck at his most costumed, cloaking a secretive past in his signature fringed leather. It's immediately clear that, even in moments of candor, the singer is still very much in character; "I was born in the badlands / strange place for a boy to drown" he sings on standout "Kalahari Down."

Fans of both traditional country music and modern indie/alternative will be able to appreciate the layered nature of Bronco; there's certainly a lot for the listener to unpack.

Listen to the first two installments of Bronco below and find @OrvillePeck on Instagram.


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