Runaway June Are Proud to Be Cowboys
Runaway June give off serious cowboy vibes, but it's not intentional. It's also not an accident.
The country trio just dropped "Wild West," a mid-tempo love song that paints a vivid cowboy romance in 4/4 time. Singer Jennifer Wayne's grandfather is the late John Wayne. They have another song on their upcoming album that's called "Cowboy." Individually, they're heavily influenced by western themes.
"I feel like us three, even though we may not be like a cowboy as far as riding horses on a ranch, we have that spirit of a cowboy and the love of the American west," Wayne says as her bandmates nod.
"And the perseverance it takes to make it through hard things," Naomi Cooke adds.
"Wild West" was written by Wayne and co-writers Billy Montana and Justin Lentz, but inspired by an offhand comment made by Cooke on the way to a writing retreat. They tapped into a universal imagined knowledge of what the love of a cowboy must feel like, and once the rest of the band heard it, they just knew.
"I think it's just always felt like ours, too ... like something that kind of really defined us," Hannah Mulholland says. "I feel like that song also like shaped a lot of the record."
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The music video for "Wild West" finds the trio playing gunslinging cowboys who encounter a bank robber and eventually shoot him dead. The gunfight scene came easy for Cooke, though the others admit they needed some training before pulling their weapons. They'll cut four more songs with producer Dann Huff soon with an eye on releasing the record in 2018. "Cowboy" is an unheard song that is one of their favorites.
"It’s the grandfather telling the granddaughter, ‘You can be a cowboy if you want.’ Not cowgirl but cowboy," Wayne says. "It's like, ‘You can be anything you want to be.’”
"Lipstick" — the 2017 Taste of Country RISERS' debut single — also brought a theme of empowerment to the radio. Positivity and female independence seem to be other defining characteristics of the group.
"Cowboy" song was not a reaction to what's happening socially in America, but they're not running from it. "We wrote ‘Cowboy’ two years ago and the message is so much of what you’d say today,” Wayne says.
Watch Runaway June Perform "Lipstick"