‘Gmaps’ marks the first few sturdy steps from the south-coast quartet Cowboyy.
Having built their reputation solely upon their live performances, Cowboyy have come to be known for their unpredictable sets; brimming with nimble riffs, complex drum patterns, and intervals of playful improvisation. Co-produced with David Evans, ‘Gmaps’ pulls from a variety of influences to fashion this skittish debut, stuffed with experimental theatrics and a light-hearted yet coltish vocal.
Like an eccentric friend, ‘Gmaps’ mix-matches colours and clashes textures in the form of squealing slides, reverbed ad libs, and video-game-like sound effects. The cyclicity breaks when the track expands into a mellifluous bridge in what feels like a sonic Dolly Zoom- widening in some aspects, whilst focusing in on others.
Laconic and animated, Powell repeats the same mix of freeform assertions and anxieties. In a range of empty assurances he mumbles “I know the places, I know which way I’m going”, whilst also admitting he’ll just “keep on walking” as if there is no particular end destination. It’s dismissive and conversational. He brings you in on the joke when he says “he doesn’t even know it now”, our commonality becoming the taunting of this elusive “he” in a Fleabag fantasy of nods and winks. It feels like you’ve arrived in media-res; as if you’ve walked into the middle of a conversation and all there is to do is nod.
‘Gmaps’ is a self-assured and confident introduction to Cowboyy. It’s a debut that in every way, hinges on refusing direction.
The new issue of So Young is out now featuring Sorry, Alex G, Crack Cloud, The Big Moon, The Lounge Society, Been Stellar, Maruja, Comfort, Cowboyy, C Turtle and more. Order your print copy here or read the digital edition below.