To be blunt, 2017 has been a rough year. With the consistent action against Planned Parenthood and other institutions, a growing support for the far right and a myriad of other concerning actions under Donald Trump, it can be sometimes impossible to feel optimistic.
While it is an incredibly privileged thought to “just forget about it all,” it’s still okay, even great, to celebrate artists that make us feel good about ourselves. That’s where Cowgirl Clue, previously known as Wu-Wu, comes in. While the name is different, the art is the same — Ashley Rose Calhoun, a Texas-born artist, is the mastermind behind the music.
After listening to one track by Cowgirl Clue, you can be assured that she is exactly what the music world needs. Each song is doused in glittering light and diffused through a genie lamp — her music is some of the most sanguine, sunshine-wrapped I’ve ever heard. In bleak times, it’s obviously okay to wallow, but Cowgirl Clue gives us hope that there is happiness right around the corner.
Tracks like the most recently released “Jewel” feature sugary vocals and a delicious, addicting beat that sounds like candy tastes. “Jewel” also features a otherworldly narrative of two people meeting under the moon, and features somewhat nostalgic lyrics that mystify a heavenly friendship/relationship that manifested on Earth. We can always find solace in each other, and Cowgirl Clue exemplifies this.
One of my personal favorites, “Game Over,” was released when Calhoun was still using the Wu-Wu moniker — the song is the first track on her EP, “Limelite,” released last year. The title is fitting — “Game Over” features video-game synths on the intro and then takes us to a flowery, space-like atmosphere that probably lives on in a GameCube world. Simply put, the track is fun yet hard-hitting, joyful and feminine. “Game Over” would be the perfect soundtrack to game-controller wielding aliens that have a penchant for pixel art and flowers.
Just because Cowgirl Clue makes some of the most fun, airy music you’ve ever heard doesn’t mean you shouldn’t regard her as a serious artist. Calhoun plays multiple instruments and has been honing her craft for many years — of course, she also creates visual art and works with fashion (those go-go boots of hers are an absolute dream.) After years of DJing queer dance parties and playing dozens of shows in cities like Los Angeles and Tokyo, Calhoun will hopefully play dates around the US soon.
To end this piece, let’s be clear — if you want to instantly feel good about yourself, put on your best patent pleather and turn up some Cowgirl Clue. Each interplanetary synth and bubblegum beat is filled with such positivity and joy — some days, you have to hunker down and sulk to Radiohead, but most days, Cowgirl Clue is the perfect antidote. For those that are lucky enough to find themselves in New York City, catch Calhoun at the Knitting Factory on April 15 or at Baby’s All Right on the 17. Plus, in the spirit of the article, find links to donate to Planned Parenthood and the ACLU below.
DONATE TO PLANNED PARENTHOOD: https://secure.ppaction.org/site/Donation2?23936.donation=form1&df_id=23936
DONATE TO THE ACLU: https://action.aclu.org/secure/donate-to-aclu