Country musician Orville Peck gained attention with the release of his debut album, Pony, in 2019. Released through Sub Pop Records, the album formally introduced the public to a queer masked crooner who straddled the line between outlaw country, punk and indie. After extensive tours through North America and Europe, Peck developed an audience for his unique songwriting and his energetic live performances.
Peck released his latest single, "Summertime," earlier this year via Columbia Records. In a press release, Peck explained that the song "is about biding your time and staying hopeful — even if it means missing something or someone."
Recorded remotely during the coronavirus pandemic, NPR's Ask Me Another host Ophira Eisenberg and house musician Jonathan Coulton talk to Peck about his many (literal) masks, and what country music and punk rock have in common.
Later, Peck plays a true-or-false game about the lives and careers of two legendary singers: Whitney Houston and Dolly Parton.
On His Approach To Country Music
"I'm not the first masked country singer. I'm not the first gay country singer. It's been around. Country music has been such a genuine, sincere love of mine, and has been since I was very young, so I decided I wanted to do what I love about classic country."
On The Similarities Between Country And Punk
"It's rebellion. I see a lot of parallels between country music and punk...I also played in punk bands as a kid and I grew up loving punk and all kinds of music. I think country music has adopted this kind of stigma over the past ten or fifteen years, that...country music is supposed to be for, like, well-adjusted straight white men singing about trucks and women and drinking beer.... I've always thought of country as kind of being for freaks and weirdos."
Heard on Orville Peck & Mitra Jouhari: A Cowpunk And One Busy Debra.