Monday, May 14th, 2018

Nyssa – Cowboy

Dance me to the end of the prairie…


Alex Clifton: I want to love this because (a) I love disco (b) I love very silly things, like disco songs about cowboys, and (c) Nyssa has quite a lovely voice. But the relentless beat makes this song feel like it goes on for much longer than it actually does, I can’t take “there ain’t no place for a cowboy in the modern world” repeated so many times, and the speak-singing of the chorus (if you can call it that) does Nyssa no favours. It ends up sounding like an extended dance remix of an already subpar song. Anyway, Kacey Musgraves did it way better on all counts.

Katherine St Asaph: Let’s swap titles with Kacey Musgraves and call this “Space Cowboy”; the track, the midpoint of Italo disco and Disclosure before they went full bro, earns it.

Claire Biddles: “Cowboy” is weird, masterful fun — Nyssa packs in so many surprising melodic twists and vocal turns, segueing from hysteria to disinterest across a hooky structure that’s almost Girls Aloud-ian. It’s built on a standard-issue groove, but it’s refreshing to hear something that sounds like it’s beamed from a different synthpop revival than the one we’re in the midst of.

Jonathan Bogart: Mutant disco revival was not something I had on my bingo card as coming back in 2018, so color me pleasantly surprised. But for all the vocals’ ironic detachment and the retro synths’ refusal to ever actually develop out into something resembling the ecstatic highs that actual disco trafficked in, the revival part is where it lets me down. It’s never actually weird or (God forbid) dangerous, just ever so amused with itself.

Jibril Yassin: Too safe to be weird yet not bold enough to strike out. Nyssa’s snarl in the chorus sounds joyous next to the explosion of synth and guitars, yet struggles to fill in the spaces elsewhere. 

Iain Mew: There’s not much of an obvious narrative line across the series of urgently presented fragments – – where does the cowboy even come in from? They’re united instead by confident disco propulsion, and an intense enough dream sequence feel that meaning seems the least important part of enjoyment. 

Alfred Soto: Closer sonically to Boys Don’t Cry’s “I Wanna Be a Cowboy” than it is thematically to Paula Cole’s “Where Have All the Cowboys Gone,” sung in a voice brimming with esprit that has studied its Shakira. “Cowboy” offers a couple of neat chord changes too.

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