I grew up in California and as a child I always had a romantic notion towards the wild west. I used to gold pan in the morning, ride horses through dusty trails and eat old fashioned ice cream in ghost towns. Yes, these trips to the old west were simply family vacations into an idealized past, but why can’t we have a little bit of that? I mean nerds get their Medieval Fairs, why can’t I have my yippee-ki-yay?
Anyway, Nym’s album of electronic mixed with Spaghetti Western really took me back. It’s not the same as feeling nostalgic over Sonic the Hedgehog or anything I can connect with most folks on. I mean how many people out there honestly wanted to be a cowboy/girl as a kid? The music just awoke something buried in me that I hadn’t thought about in maybe a decade. It makes me want to take a summer vacation to all the places I went as a kid and drink my goddamned sarsaparilla.
Some of my favorite tracks here are “The Ballad of Dylan Owen”, “Seven Hills” and “Derecho”. They all play around with a mix of hip hop electronic beats and the strings you’d expect in the wild, wild west. I like how stormy these tracks can get and their constant throwbacks to old western movies that are now relics of Hollywood history. There’s an understanding of how hip hop beats work, but also a love for it so the melding between the drastically different worlds seems smooth like milk and honey.
“Gunfire in the Sky” has a melody that everyone will recognize along with a really beautiful, haunting vocals by Kathleen Drake. She reappears in “Hanging” which is actually a more retro/twee track with the sentiment of a woman who loves a man playing with danger. Even though this is a pretty drastic shift in sound, I really like that it was included. Brings a sort of femininity and heart to wrap things up.
You know what’s funny? Yesterday an older man who likes Journey and 70’s hard rock asked me what kind of music I listen to. I stuttered, not sure how to answer or if I was willing to explain what “indie twee” was, and then finally blurted out “electronic and country”. And then, like a strange, shining vision on the horizon, this album showed up daring to mix the two. I feel like I willed something into existence. Even though it’s been out for a year. Shut up.