Cowboy On The Run

Album: The Criminal Record (2017)

Songfacts®:

  • "Cowboy On The Run" is a track from The Criminal Record, the debut album from Bandits On The Run. The song focuses on the story of a relationship where the cowboy has left, leaving the other partner feeling used and blinded by love. The original inspiration for the song came from Clarissa (Regina Strayhorn) trying to process the frustration that comes with the loss of a creative spark. They began performing it together in the New York City subway, and it was one of the first songs they performed as a group. It connected them and pushed them toward the idea of forming a band.
  • This song has a wistful, doo-wop feel. This contrasts with certain lyrics, such as "How many women have you done and left like you left me?" leaving room for the song to be interpreted in multiple ways.

    "For me, it's art but for anybody, it could be something that you once had, that has gone," Clarissa explained when she appeared on the Backstory Song podcast. "That sort of the image of a cowboy riding into the sunset, that we think of all the time, but what about the person that the cowboy left? Like, how do they feel?"

    This theme is also well represented in the minor feel during the ending of the song. It leaves us wanting more, wanting to know where he's going and why he left.
  • The music video was filmed in October 2019 in New York's iconic Power Station studios. Its open and stripped-down style allowed multiple instruments to be featured, including a shaker, tambourine, drum, and electric guitar. The video is a testament to how their sound has developed since forming in 2015. Regina, as well as her gift with words and poetry, is became a featured accordionist, melodica player, and glockenspieler. Adrian, the band's guitar player, also took on the role of the band's percussion section. Sydney took her cello playing to new heights, having written entire string arrangements for certain songs.

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