A riotous fever dream of a song, ‘Cowboy‘ by GIHE faves (and ‘Ones To Watch‘ for 2023) Alien Chicks has themes of regret, confusion and self blame holding up its foundations. The track has a surreal feel to it that echoes the way these feelings surface in the subconscious; amorphous and jarring.
The song begins with a mellow vibe. Soft, low vocals float over music that complements them, but it’s already moving at a fast pace. The beat is quick, with a sense of tension coiled within it that hints at what awaits as the song ramps up to the chorus. The repeated “I am nervous” gets neither louder nor faster, but you can feel that tension growing within it – subtly but still noticeable, until it crashes into the discordant clash of the chorus.
The structure echoes the feelings that the song captures – regret and blame and self-doubt often creep up on you. The way they fester under the surface until it feels like they’ve been triggered by the most insignificant of misfortunes – a cut lip becoming the final broken straw that allows a broiling and chaotic eruption of emotions to burst through. The lyrics are chaotic; they take you on a bizarre journey that sucks you into the weirdness of it until, seemingly spontaneously, it makes its own unique sense. It captures that dreamlike feeling of reality being visible but not quite within reach.
The juxtaposition of the gentler verses, versus the hectic instrumental clashes in the chorus, throws you around. The theme of intense confusion is as much baked into the tortuous lyrics as they are the cacophonous sounds.
‘Cowboy’ ends abruptly, jolting you sharply out of the journey it’s on and back to reality. It feels like you’ve lurched out of its dream, left alone to recalibrate with just threads and whispers left behind. Throughout the track, you can feel the way that a wide variety of different genres have influenced Alien Chicks’ music style; they’ve been combined in ways that jar, but with obvious intention. It’s a carefully constructed and instantly immersive song that knows exactly how it wants you to feel and nails it. A perfect example of the relentless funk-fuelled punk-rock that this unique South London trio are able to create.
‘Cowboy’ is out now via Slow Dance Records. Make sure you catch Alien Chicks live sometime soon – it’s an incredible experience! Details on their UK April tour below, and tickets for their Lexington headline show on 19th April here.
Kirstie Summers / @ActuallyKurt
Photo Credit: Lauren Cremer