Everybody’s favourite outlaw-masked, curtain-concealed Canadian cowboy is back in the saddle with another gender-bending batch of bombastic baritone ballads, swooning trucker-love twangfests and mournful odes to the Wild West — along with a claustrophobically grim cover of Bobbie Gentry’s Fancy and a surprisingly cool Shania Twain cameo on the roadhouse duet Legends Never Die. The bad news? The EP has only six songs. But for my money, it’s leaner, tighter and more confidently focused than his star-making 2019 full-length Pony. So, far from coming off like a stopgap or quickie cash-in, Show Pony proves to be every bit as potent, entertaining and essential as its predecessor. Let there be no confusion: Peck is riding high and hitting the bulls-eye — even when he’s horsing around and shooting from the hip.
THE PRESS RELEASE: “Orville Peck delayed the release of his EP Show Pony in support of the BLM movement. The 32-year-old masked singer announced two days ahead of the release of the EP, which was set to arrive on June 12, that he decided to hold off on dropping the collection because he wanted to “put [his] focus” on using his voice and platform to support the fight for justice and equality after the death of George Floyd. Meanwhile, the country singer hailed working with Shania Twain a “dream come true.” Orville and the Still the One hitmaker teamed up on Legends Never Die, and he was delighted to get to collaborate with the star because she has always been a “huge influence” on him. He said: “Working with Shania was a dream come true. Her music made me feel empowered as a kid and was a huge influence on me.” Twain teased the collaboration in a cryptic tweet, which writing, “Baby we’ve been up all night.” Peck thinks the upcoming EP is a much more “confident” record than his debut album Pony, saying it has a “more confident perspective and allows me to share even more both lyrically and musically. Like all country albums, Show Pony is a little collection of stories — some sad, some happy — and I am excited for people to hear it.”