Melancholic indie that bites
Brooklyn quartet Ok Cowgirl have released their debut EP, Not My First Rodeo. The five-song collection is equal parts intelligent, relatable and captivating. It’s overall a great listen. The band proves themselves capable of producing melodic ballads and straight-ahead alternative rock. Ok Cowgirl have not used a secret formula to make good music. The lineup consists of four people playing their instruments in their own way. What people hear is the interplay between the musicians and their emotional honesty. Not just honesty in the lyrics, but also in the performances. The band knows when to lean back and languish in the moment or when to crank the volume and lay on the distortion.
The opening song, “Unlost,” is ethereal and grooving. The precise drums and thrumming bass contrasts against the strident vocals. The guitar takes a backseat in this one, however. The band is creating an atmosphere of space for this song. “Her Eyes” is the lead single and for reasons apparent to any listener. The track is typical indie rock but Ok Cowgirl diverges from the formula by making the lyrics about longing for another person. The drums and bass are less present than on the previous song but this benefits the guitar.
“Across the Room” is the rock song on the EP. It’s not mind blowing but it gives vocalist Leah Lavigne a few minutes to showcase her ability as a singer. She is able to stretch and hold notes which move within the sound of the other instruments. “Deer in the Headlights” is a mid-tempo ballad that finds the main character of the song drinking alone to numb their emotions. It’s a song forged from heartbreak that lets the band show off just how good they are. The foursome lock in and take this track to another level. “Roadtrip (Til the End of Time)” is a bitter sweet conclusion to this collection of songs. It’s sparse and quiet and resolves all of the threads Ok Cowgirl started with the first notes of this EP.
Not My First Rodeo achieves what it sets out to do. It teases what will come.