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Reasons to Love Toronto Now

Because Orville Peck is making country cool again

Toronto’s most eccentric troubadour is masked and marvellous

Because Orville Peck is making country cool again
Photograph by Gordon Nicholas
Because Orville Peck is making country cool again

The mystery man who goes by Orville Peck performs in rhinestone belts and colourful Nudie Suits, his face obscured by a tasselled bandit mask, like something the Lone Ranger would’ve worn if he’d attended theatre school. Peck did attend theatre school before moving to Toronto and self-producing his debut album, Pony. In a haunting baritone, Peck sang about drifters, truck drivers and cowboy lovers on the run, channelling the alienation he’d felt as a young gay man. The music—a mixture of rockabilly, outlaw country, post-punk and gospel—was dark and soulful and sexy, and it transformed Peck into an icon. He has since ventured where few country stars have gone, performing alongside Harry Styles at Madison Square Garden, recording a duet with Shania Twain and collaborating with celeb drag queen Trixie Mattel. In April, he dropped Bronco, a sophomore record more creative and eccentric than anything coming out of Nashville.

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