I gotta be honest, Wyoming is almost definitely the United State that I know the least about. Before hitting their wikipedia page I did not remember that it’s capital was Cheyenne and to be honest I would have guessed Yellowstone National Park was in Montana and that the Grand Tetons were in like I don’t know Utah? Really all I could tell you about the whole state is that the U Wyoming Cowboys men’s basketball team are having a sneaky good season in the Mountain West Conference, and that the state serves as the backdrop of Pictoria Vark’s excellent new single “Wyoming”.
The track starts off quiet and sparse much like the state of Wyoming itself, with one strumming guitar leading to another as the song fills in. In the music video Victoria seems to be walking through a snow caked Wyoming day, starting on a picturesque wooden bridge that seems to be leading her away from the town in the background before unsheathing her guitar. Victoria mentioned that the track is about how she often was in one state missing the other. “As I spent time hopping between Wyoming, Iowa, Paris, and New Jersey, these places that inform where (and what) is home started to bleed together,” Vark recalls. “I felt like I was missing New Jersey in Wyoming, and missing Wyoming in Iowa. It didn’t make any sense to me—this track is about that feeling.” Vark opens the track somberly singing, “Come quick this time it’s dire, a childhood home set on fire. I’m digging a ditch in the yard, not more than thirteen years old.” It is a visceral and moving line that Vark delivers with the deadpan resiliency of someone who confronted the reality of the situation many moons ago. The track builds to a massive guitar lick where she asks, “Can’t I blame you for everything? Market crashes, mood swings. Busted my lip for nothing, Personal hell, Wyoming,” From the sounds of it Wyoming was a personal hell when she was physically present, only for distance to indeed make the heart grow fonder. Home is an elusive concept, a feeling or a state of mind more than a place. It is also a status earned over time, and hard to bestow to a new location when you constantly find yourself comparing it back to the last one. “Wyoming” a heavy and heady song that left me contemplating all the places that have been home to me in my life as I soaked in the track’s massive smashing close. And to boot “Wyoming” only sounds even better in the context of the album – oh wait, did I say the album!?!
Yes Varkheads can rejoice, Pictoria Vark will be releasing their debut album The Parts I Dread on April 8th via Get Better Records. The album is available for pre-order on vinyl at Get Better Records now, and you can pre-save the album on the streaming service of your choice right here.