• DRAB Mag


Updated: Jul 30, 2020

A band of five mysterious cowboys, Rodeo presents an alluring darkness on their single “Have You”. Confident and with an abundance of depth, the track is everything you expect from a frontier hardened trooper.

Usually, when I write these reviews I try and provide some context and backgrounds to the artists we discuss since you can’t remove music from the context it comes from. With Rodeo though, I really don’t have much to go off of. Having heard this track through the recommendation of a friend, all the background information I could find was their Spotify bio which introduces them as “five strapping young cowboys here for the rodeo”. Now, having listened to their music, I am ready to ride with them. Rather than resorting to cliches of old Spaghetti Westerns and American country music, Rodeo reinvents what it means to be a cowboy by forgoing cinematic scores, or banjo laden blues in favour of brooding alt-rock, sultry vocals and tangled guitar parts that draw you into their musical narrative.

Opening with a guitar slowly stabbing out in front of a continuous drum loop, the track fills out as the rest of the band enter simultaneously dancing between each other. With a deep, emotive vocal tone that reminds me oddly of Kali Uchis, that narrator pleads to a lover, “have you had enough of me?” Highly captivating, with an instrumental backing to match, the singing in the track pulls you deep into the world of Rodeo. Rounding out the track with a lengthy instrumental that sees moments of delicate keys solos leading into roaring, but consciously phrased guitar solos, you feel every cowboy’s dedication to what the track is trying to impart. The track ultimately decays and fades out but in every second leading up to it, there’s an air of elegance, purpose, and mystique. That may sound like too many adjectives, but I’m sure anyone reading this will hear exactly what I mean when they listen to Rodeo. If my experience is anything to go by, they’ll be listening on repeat.

You can catch Rodeo alongside other DRAB favourites like Yard Act, Do Nothing, and more at the Super Friendz Dark Arts Festival in February 2021 to hopefully find out more about them!

Writing by Varun Govil

Dark Arts poster design by Connor Hastie (@hastie.c)