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Orville Peck Is The Psychedelic Cowboy Redefining "Country Music"

Music is a paradox. A contraption devised to make you feel or sometimes not feel at all. I’ve had the pleasure to work with many artists from all sides of the musical spectrum, but Orville Peck is a gem like no other. The ambiguous, masked cowboy first took me into his world when I appeared in the video for his debut single “Big Sky”. I was nervous but intrigued to see the depths of his universe—a lonely yet strangely nostalgic place, filled with outcasts and drifters. Peck’s music slowly began to provide the soundtrack to my sweetest, darkest dreams—struck by his ability to haunt his listeners in the most beautiful of ways.

If the latest Grammys are telling of what the musical future will hold, Kacey Musgraves’ top win speaks volumes. Country music is inhabiting a fresher, more colorful, and more inclusive spectrum that Mr. Peck has the potential to dominate. He is definitely one of the most interesting new artists to look forward to this year.

I recently had the pleasure to embark on a journey with Peck through the deserts of Nevada, while filming the music video for his second single “Dead of Night”. The resulting video—shot at the infamous Chicken Ranch brothel—is a blissful fantasy that allows us a rare, vulnerable peak into the mind of Sub Pop’s newest signee.

“‘Dead Of Night’ is a torch song,” Peck says. “The story of falling for someone you know doesn’t love you back in the same way, but doing it anyway because it’s better than nothing. I wanted the video to feel that way. Adventurous, colorful and bold like explosive romance but still with a sense of sadness and loneliness. Like the strange torture of knowing something good isn’t going to last.”

As inviting as “Dead Of Night” may be, it leaves us with so many more questions. And although we may never know the man behind the mask, with the release of Peck’s highly anticipated album (out March 22), we just might find some of the answers we are looking for.

Images courtesy of Calm Elliot-Armstrong

Stay tuned to Milk for more emerging artists. 

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