New wave-pop artist Josie Cotton premieres the music video for “Ukrainian Cowboy” on Medium. Subtly reminiscent of Nancy Sinatra’s “These Boots Are Made For Walkin’,” the song blends flavors of country, pop, and new wave, along with tints of traditional Russian folk music, into a tasty sonic confection.
Cotton exploded on the music scene in 1982, releasing Convertible Music, a superb girl-pop album as good as or better than anything by the Go Go’s and the Bangles. Because of the hullabaloo surrounding one of the songs, “Johnny Are You Queer?” on the album, the remaining stellar tracks were eclipsed.
She followed with From the Hip in 1984, Frightened by Nightingales in 1996, Movie Disaster Music in 2006, and Invasion of the B Girls in 2007.
“Ukrainian Cowboy” opens on a ‘60s-flavored surf rock groove flowing into a delicious country-pop melody chockfull of gleaming Ennio Morricone-like guitars topping potent new wave nuances. A fat bassline and crisp drums drive the rhythm, as glowing horns add sensuous accents and oozing tones. Deep choir-like vocal harmonies infuse the tune with scrumptious looming dimension.
Cotton’s voice, capable of sultry timbres, voluptuous purrs, and creamy textures, imbues the lyrics with smoky sexy tones polished to lustrous silkiness.
“I’ll be back / Before I’m gone / I’ve been traveling / For so long / Across the mountains / Through the snow.” And then the gorgeously addictive chorus: “There’s a hole in my soul as big as Russia.”
The video blends visuals akin to A Fistful of Dollars fused with Dr. Zhivago, as Cotton, wearing a white dress, rides a horse across the screen, followed by playing her guitar caparisoned in a glitzy, kitschy cowgirl outfit complete with Dolly Parton-like big hair. During her ride, she comes across Russian soldiers standing at attention or dancing, a marching band, and a balalaika playing bear.
“Ukrainian Cowboy” is perfectly balanced, replete with an infectious rhythm, grand vibrant harmonics, eloquent yet flamboyantly melodramatic lyrics, and Josie Cotton’s sumptuous voice. The combination of over-the-top visuals with the swaggering new wave country-pop music coalesces into a surreal audio-visual experience of unprecedented delight.