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Stylish Soundtracks: Westerncore

Tunes worthy of a stampede
Tunes worthy of a stampede

This is part of a series of essays and playlists related to various trendy aesthetics that we’re calling "Stylish Soundtracks." From mermaids to Barbie, we’ve got your cores covered - musically, that is.

It’s not just Beyoncé giving cowboy hats a renaissance. But, she’s definitely saddled up for the trend.

We could call it cowboycore or westerncore, but western looks haven’t ever truly gone away. Some of the pieces are genuinely practical - cowboy boots exist for a reason outside of their looks. But westerncore looks were on several runways in 2023, and the New York Times cited it as the menswear trend of the year.

Denim, bandanas, cowboy hats and boots can easily mix with disco balls and rhinestones for a glamorous western look. But casual versions abound as well.

From wide open spaces to spaghetti westerns to the cowboys themselves, there is plenty of cowboy classical to enjoy. The bright energy of Aaron Copland’s ballets put western stories in musical technicolor. John Williams paints pictures with his usual charm. Characters like Billy the Kid and Joaquin Murieta appear.

So sharpen your spurs. These tunes will rope you into western style.

When a herd of cattle were loose in Louisville last year we also created an udderly bovine playlist. Check it out here.

Let us know what we missed on any of our social media platforms. And if there’s an aesthetic you love, ask us to build a playlist.

Colleen is the Music Director and host for LPM Classical. Email Colleen at colleen@lpm.org.