Indie pop artist Maddie Carpenter makes a dazzling showcase of masterful songwriting on her debut single, “Cowboy,” released alongside a cinematic music video. Reminiscent of iconic lyricists like Sara Bareilles and Lucinda Williams, Carpenter beautifully articulates her story with passion, intelligence, and clarity on this subtly Americana-kissed pop track.

“Cowboy” is an undeniably raw and heartfelt story delving into the difficult-to-let-go-of nostalgia and comfort that keeps young adults from embracing new experiences. At its core, this track represents the transition from childhood to adulthood; the attachment to a first love, specifically, represents a powerful tie to our younger self. For Carpenter, “growing up and realizing that your passions are taking you in a different direction – away from the comforts of your childhood,” is a necessary part of developing into the person we were meant to be.

Carpenter sets the scene for this music video in a wistful desert. The singer-songwriter playfully explores the open landscape beneath a magnificent sunset, representative of the journey, sheer potential, and optimism for a beyond bright future. This video is simple, raw, and emotional; viewers get an authentic insight into the feelings and stories the songstress built this song from. Carpenter effortlessly conveys every ounce of passion she has for this story in her mesmerizing delivery throughout the video.

She acknowledges the importance of working through such a profoundly difficult stage of uncertainty, especially for women: She says, “[women] often feel that they need to be nurturers and are told by society that they shouldn’t hurt others emotionally, even if it means sacrificing their own dreams.” For any young adults struggling to make the transition to adulthood, “Cowboy” is the anthem to give you that extra vote of confidence to take the leap of faith.

Cover art for “Cowboy” by Maddie Carpenter