A few minutes before the show, the technician at Mohawk’s indoor venue asks Ok Cowgirl what kind of lighting they want for their show. Guitarist Jake Sabinsky shouts out “Purple! Let’s get some bisexual lighting up in here,” looking particularly proud of himself.
Taking command of the small building during SXSW, the Brooklyn-based band was punctual, starting their set two minutes early at 9:08 pm and ending right when the schedule said they would. This promptness would translate into their music which guided the crowded room into sonically sharp, airy, big-city cowboy tunes.
The third song of the set “Her Eyes” embraced the typical light, carefree, and youthful guitar strums typically associated with the indie genre. The tender and sickly sweet lyrics “You saw the way she looks at me / I've never felt so warm, so understood now” prompted the couple behind me to ask if I knew the name of the song. Lead singer Leah Lavigne also introduced an unreleased number currently named “Diner Song.” Before proceeding, Lavigne questioned the crowd if they should keep the name or retitle it, prompting attending friends to shout that they should keep the name before they had even heard the melody. The ballad carried the melancholy romanticism of Lana Del Ray with the vocal
reverb of soft bedroom pop, creating a pleasing juxtaposition.
When the sounds of indie bands start to blend together in a haze of similar highly tuned guitars and simple drum tempos, Ok Cowgirl sets out to distinguish themselves. Impassioned and technically skilled guitar solos and muddy bass lines create an alluring take on indie rock that incorporates folk and country elements to ensnare listeners looking for a twist on the classic indie sound.