There are two sides to the Cowboy Boy story. Here’s the first: Olivia Maria and Mike Nevin started writing songs together in Boston. When Olivia moved to Los Angeles, Cowboy Boy persisted over FaceTime jam sessions and long weekends spent recording in each other’s home bases. That part’s easy, but packing up and leaving the East Coast and all it offered was hard. Enter the second part of the Cowboy Boy story — proudly represented by the PRINCESS/GOOD GIRL double EP out soon via Get Better Records. If PRINCESS showcases a young band on the edge of critical life changes, GOOD GIRL waves from the other side of the aftermath. The first EP is shot through with caffeinated anxiety that could only accompany watching a long-term relationship transition into a long-distance one, and GOOD GIRL processes the heartbreak from a California zip code. Taken together, it’s a vibrant and punchy first
outing from a long-distance band, held together by rambunctious energy, the sturdiness of neon-lit pop punk, and swerves into adult contemporary and pop-rock lanes. Sample the surging malaise of a track like “MOVING TO CALIFORNIA” to tease out the band’s prevailing attitude, but stay for moments like “SHRINK,” which betrays its lyrics about fitting into a box for those we love by having a bouncy arrangement that somersaults away from settling. Even when “FOURTH OF JULY” finds lovers’ fireworks faint and distant, the song itself soars with a bright hook. For Cowboy Boy,
growing is part of the process even when miles threaten to make them seem small. Welcome to their coronation.
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