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Copeland

Biography

American pop standard “You Are My Sunshine” is synonymous with idyllic memories of youth and other feelings of merriment. But Copeland, the Lakeland, Fla.-based, indie alternative trio who’ve already brought soul-searching tracks like “Control Freak” and “Pin Your Wings,” spin their own metaphorical thesis on the classic tune for their fourth studio effort, the aptly-titled You Are My Sunshine.

“Initially, that song is very lovely and when you think of it, it immediately conjures up fine memories of your childhood, but actually it’s super creepy in the latter verses of the song. It gets quite dark,” says frontman Aaron Marsh. “But that’s probably my favorite thing in art and music -- that line between lovely and creepy. A photo of a dandelion in a field would be a lovely image, but a shadow of a person you couldn’t see would make it a bit creepier. And with that, all of our records have been very lovely on the whole. When people think of us, they think ‘very pretty soft rock,’ but we’ve been slowly growing up and wanting to not just be pretty music. There’s another layer there, and for me that’s the most interesting line ever.”

You Are My Sunshine -- the band’s follow up to their Columbia debut, 2006’s Eat, Sleep, Repeat and their first for the Seattle-based label Tooth & Nail -- finds Marsh (vocals/guitar/piano), Bryan Laurenson (guitar), and Jon Bucklew (drums) perfecting their well-crafted pop with a cultured edge. With Aaron Sprinkle (Eisley, Anberlin, Pedro the Lion) and Marsh sharing production duties, and mixing legend Michael Brauer (Coldplay, Grandaddy, My Morning Jacket) at the helm of these 11 songs, Copeland’s emotional candor shifts into a fresh, textured-driven focus for their most confident material to date. Copeland credits both Sprinkle’s keen manipulation of sound and Brauer’s quick approach for giving You Are My Sunshine that polished, but organic sheen they were looking for.

“Sprinkle has this real concise thing when making records that sound very polished and in a way, inhuman,” explains Marsh. “Past Copeland albums have been the opposite of that. But what he did was capture the juxtaposition of we were going for -- the blending of human and in human sounds, unnatural and ethereal sounds.”

Laurenson adds, “Brauer fit us into his schedule because we really wanted to work with him and we ended up mixing the entire LP in five days. Because it got mixed so quickly, there’s this reckless charm about it.”

With earnest songs like the jagged guitar layers of “What Do I Know” and the atmospheric splendor “Good Morning Fire Eater,” You Are My Sunshine bursts with that bright hook Copeland has been longing for since they set out to make music eight years ago. The gossamer epic beauty of “Not So Tough Found Out,” one of the many standouts featuring the dramatic vocal delivery of Wisconsin-bred songstress Rae Cassidy Klagstad, nicely culminates Copeland’s desire in keep the message of the album an individual matter.

“As I’ve gotten older, my lyrics have definitely become more poignant, but I also think they’re more enigmatic,” says Marsh. “My goal is to be more emotive than obvious. If what I am trying to say becomes cloudy, I don’t try to hone it in as much as I used to. I feel like I’ve gotten to a place where my lyrics are expressive enough to convey an emotion, but universal enough for people to find their own meaning in the words. Really, I feel like it’s really the grayest line you can possibly walk between making people feel something, and also disguising the feeling.”

Copeland is at their finest yet with You Are My Sunshine, and it marks a rejuvenated move forward to the next phase of the band. Laurenson says, “It’s the most prepared we’ve ever been. I think in the past we‘d go into the studio and part of songs fell into place with a lot of studio magic. This time, songs dictated themselves and the record turned out exactly how we envisioned it.”

The songbook stunner that is You Are My Sunshine arrives at the most appropriate time for Copeland. They’ve succinctly blurred the boundaries between song and craft, and only that can come with experience, while also remaining bright-eyed about life’s passions. You Are My Sunshine beams with such vigor. The album drops October 14th.

Quick Bio

American pop standard “You Are My Sunshine” is synonymous with idyllic memories of youth and other feelings of merriment. But Copeland, the Lakeland, Fla.-based, indie alternative trio who’ve already brought soul-searching tracks like “Control Freak” and “Pin Your Wings,” spin their own metaphorical thesis on the classic tune for their fourth studio effort, the aptly-titled You Are My Sunshine.

Read the full Biography

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Line-Up

Aaron Marsh
Bryan Laurenson
Jonathan Bucklew