With her EP The Mild West, Space Cowboy Newt merges the cosmic with the terrestrial, across four tracks. Featuring a bouquet of botanical imagery, the tracks describe, cope and move on from a past sadness that permeates every aspect of life. Using dream-pop tones drenched in synths and uneasy feelings, this debut project is really setting the bar high.
Drawing on her knowledge as a vocalist, harpist and pianist, Space Cowboy Newt takes us on a journey of emotion. While Emma Newton, the artist behind the cowboy, started writing music at age 8, it was only last year that this musical project really came to life. A completely solo production, a single from the EP has already gained attention after being featured on the cult-classic podcast, Welcome to Night Vale.
The EP opens with ‘Olivetree’ which features a visitor from the past ripping a branch off an olive tree and offering it to Newt as a peace offering. The dreamy opening of the track twinkles and sparkles with synths that get your feet tapping before you are swirled into the movement of the harp. The vocals have a smooth and easy movement to them that is all contemporary soul with a splash of pop. While the lyrics touch on an almost aggressive gesture of peace, there is a rejection of this that brings a smile to your face. There is a touch of everything you wish you could say to an ex who thinks they are doing you a favour by offering closure and want the glory that comes with this. Through all of this, there is an almost psychedelic fairy tale vibe to the music.
‘Goodnight Dandelion’ is more reflective while tugging at your heartstrings with a wish made on a dandelion. The dreamy opening continues the fairy tale vibes of the opening track, while the vocals have a folky flow. The lyrics reflect on a lost love that was never realised as the emotions are unrequited. The chorus plucks at the wish for the feelings to be returned, only to be tempered with the knowledge that this is not possible. There is a sigh to the flow of the vocals like you are reflecting on how you connect with others and fully understand that you fall too deeply. The layered harmonising of the vocals adds extra softness to the single and takes everything to another level. You can’t help but be captivated by the track and want to listen to it again and again.
The vibes of the EP change slightly with ‘Looking Down at the Earth’ as it gets a soulful movement. Some of the fairy tale vibes lift for this love song that is so wonderfully touching. There is a starry feeling to the music like you are looking at the milky way in all its glory, while thinking about someone you love. The soulful movement of the music increases when the shuffle of drums hits and moves you through night-time city streets like an old movie. There is an undeniable richness to this single that sinks into your veins and keeps you hooked to the sound. There is just the right amount of sparkle in the music to enhance the affection in each word. The music gains a moving beat later in the track that only takes the emotions already introduced and sends them dancing into the night sky.
The EP comes to a close with ‘I’m Still Not Blooming’ which has a more sombre feeling to the dreamy synths. Through the opening, there is a touch of heaviness like lethargy sinking into your limbs. Newt’s vocals are tender with a vulnerability that really tugs at your heartstrings. The lyrics delve into a disconnect that comes after a traumatic relationship. This disconnect is contrasted with the sadness of losing the good emotions you felt during the relationship. There is a wonderful use of botanic imagery throughout the single that brings an interesting organic edge to the single. There is a lot of heart in this single and you can feel it through each word and musical note that has been carefully crafted with beautiful tenderness.
Space Cowboy Newt has you waltzing along the milky way before delving into heartache and grief through the tracks of The Mild West. There is a dreamy synth vibe that flows through all the tracks, only to merge with soulful explorations of emotions and botanic imagery. The tender emotions of the tracks make it easy to see why her music is already gaining serious momentum.