A bittersweet, country-tinged lament about the desire for complete personal freedom, Irish star CMAT's third single "I Wanna Be a Cowboy, Baby!" is a melancholic bop designed to shake off overwhelming feelings of loneliness.
Through the gentle twang of Americana-inspired guitars and her emotive vocal delivery, CMAT lives out her cowboy fantasy, pining for the day she can swing open the metaphorical saloon doors and be her best self. "I've got cotton wool for arms / I won't be much use on the farm" she jests, contrasting moments of silliness with moments of painful realisation: "Always the cowboy, never the cow / I hate the way my life turned out." She filters her sad sentiments through dreamy melodies, rose-tinting the darker side of the exclusion she sings of.
"I wrote this song about two years ago, at a time when I was extremely isolated due to the fact I was living alone in Manchester and had basically no friends," explains CMAT. "I kept thinking about this Vine of a guy drinking cans in a playground, and how it was representative of pure freedom. I also watched a lot of westerns, and thought about how much more freedom is afforded to men. I would love to just rock up to a saloon, have a few drinks with people I don't know and cure my loneliness. But it seems like women are always being told not to do that, that they are always being told that the pursuit of independence is a reckless act which jeopardises your safety. I'm sick of it. I just wanna be a cowboy."
As CMAT states on her Twitter feed, "everything I do is for the girls and the gays and that's it", she's determined to soften life's sadder moments for them by transforming her blues into intensely catchy, candid pop tunes.
On her previous singles "Another Day (kfc)" and "Rodney", CMAT's humour and confidence as a pop star shone through, and while both these elements still underscore "I Wanna Be a Cowboy, Baby!", she's boldly serenading her listeners with a more vulnerable, but still entirely captivating sound.