Orville Peck has been keeping journals since he was 16 years old. All the heartache, reminisces, and other written-in-place memories have provided him with some riveting stories, in song. “Sometimes I go back on things and take lyrics from journal entries that I had when I was younger,” says Peck on how he crafted his latest EP Show Pony. “All of my songs, essentially, are many years in the making, and then some things on Show Pony came up in the studio. It’s a mix of different periods from my life.”
Behind his leather-fringed mask, Peck exposes more on Show Pony. Stripped down from 2019 debut Pony’s more electric production, Show Pony viscerally opens Peck’s past childhood reflections, presents tales of lonesomeness, being queer, and… ultimately getting ready for the Show. If Pony was hanging around the stable, Show Pony is ready for the spotlight.
Still textured in slow brooding croons, Show Pony‘s country medleys percolate through Peck’s Southern-goth and cinematic, Lone Ranger blues. Getting caught up in the nostalgia, “Summertime” opens on affecting lyrics Asking where the time’s gone / Dreaming with the lights on / Trying to keep your eyes on / Something along the rise.
Originally written for Pony, Peck wanted to flesh out “Summertime” for Show and later revised it while recording in Nashville. Shifting from Toronto to Nashville with some vocals done in Los Angeles, Show Pony was predominantly recorded on tour in 2019. “Show Pony found itself among the highways of North America, which gives a nice touch to the kind of outlaw feel of it,” says Peck. “When I listen to Show Pony, it definitely brings up ‘On the Road’ again by Willie Nelson, where it just feels a bit transient.”