The newest tune by this Portland, Oregon band is a fine encapsulation of the genre-melding going on in the Pacific Northwest music scene.
"Wannabe Cowboys" is an apt title for a song by a band that hails from Portland, Oregon. The City of Keeping it Weird isn't exactly known for a thriving country/Western scene, and the thought of the Birkenstock-wearing crowd trying to fit in a proper honky-tonk is no doubt good for a laugh. Fortunately, the Portland rock outfit the Weather Machine isn't out for such gauche posturing. Although elements of folk music are definitely obvious in the band's music, unsurprising given the genre's prominence in the Pacific Northwest, there's several other elements at play in their sound that prevent them from coming across as trying to ape one specific style. For instance, "Wannabe Cowboys", a track off of the Weather Machine's forthcoming Peach LP, opens up with some nice distorted guitar that evokes classic rock. The tune's chorus then brings a fiddle into the mix, adding an additional rhythmic texture that elevates what might have otherwise been an ordinary rock number. "Wannabe Cowboys" feels appropriately folksy without ever being phony.
The band tells PopMatters at the tune, "'Wannabe Cowboys' is based on what happens behind the scenes at a rodeo in Sisters, Oregon, where our singer and cello player grew up. It pretends to be a love song, but it’s really about being self-aware that ignorance is bliss, and riding that high for as long as possible. We wanted to create a sense of nostalgia, like a '70s power ballad, and evoke conflicting emotions of humor and longing as we dance around the central issue, whatever that might be. We want the listener to be in on the joke as they observe the characters who watch the rodeo spectators. It’s all foolish and beautiful at the same time."
Peach is out on 24 March.