Since 2019, Drugstore Cowboy has been challenging the ideas — not only their own but everyone else's, too — of what Texas music should sound like.
Having often found each other in the orbit of the Dallas music scene over the years, Carter Davis and Grant Thompson were far from strangers. But it was studio smoke breaks together while working on Davis’ solo project led the duo to the realization of their natural yin and yang synchronicity. Davis’ appetite for storytelling quickly magnetized with Thompson’s curious ear for engineering. It didn’t take long for them to crack their own chaotic formula for a signature sound they describe as “anti-pop,” a fusion that is anchored by elements of hip-hop, pop, and folk for a blend that has no business slapping together as well as it does.
The duo fully embraces the post-genre landscape that music resides in now, allowing them to draw inspiration from all kinds of artists they grew up listening to — everyone from Frank Ocean to Garth Brooks to Kings of Leon — for a no-rules approach to songwriting. Davis’ vocal range gives him room to breach the nostalgia of pop-punk golden days while inversely tapping into a lower, warmer flow akin to Post Malone. As the band’s drummer and primary producer, Thompson channels a grounded, DIY production style.
Drugstore Cowboy has always been saddled by its roots, though. Not only is the band’s name an homage to Davis’ grandfather — a literal drugstore cowboy who owned a pharmacy that sold western wear — but they have also taken their Texan pride loudly and proudly to the Nashville scene, where they are now based.
Their debut record, Hillbilly Idols, was a Tex-ification of the pop-punk-meets-hip-hop wave that has made its way to the forefront in recent years, lacing it with hints of their southern upbringing. 2022’s Maverick, meanwhile, saw them collaborate with a herd of fellow North Texas artists from varying genres for nearly every track on the album. Their self-titled EP is a continuation of the genre-defiant sound they’ve become known for exploring. In just a couple of short years, they have garnered praise from the likes of Central Track and KXT Radio, Dallas’ NPR affiliate station.