I won’t ever feel better than I do when I hear the perfect song at the perfect time. Or, at least, I don’t think I will, not when it is the ultimate comfort and satisfaction, the blissful calm in the middle of a perfect storm.
This morning I awoke to the new Copeland track and found it incredibly perfect. The slowness, the stillness, the build. This much piano is a delight, a refreshing classic delight, adorned with muted-before-spotlit rhythm, delicate falsetto and the swells of carefully strummed electric guitars. I’ve said “Ixora” is one of my most anticipated albums of this year and this track, “Erase,” delivers nothing I could have imagined and everything I hoped to hear.
The first time I heard Copeland, I was in the passenger seat next to a boy I liked. I was a sophomore in high school. He was wonderful. So was “Beneath Medicine Tree,” and its expounding emotion in heartbreakers like “Brightest” and “California,” and assertive pleas like “There Cannot Be a Close Second.” In a time and scene where this thoughtful sound fulfilled a softer side, I knew this band showcased talent of raw ability but I did not realize what potential there was to come.
Each of their full-lengths holds a special space in my musical memory. “In Motion” was a proper follow, hitting the same highs and extending past, then “Eat, Sleep, Repeat” tread further down the path of introspection. Then “You are My Sunshine” delivered their most masterful musical performance yet, a full-out tapestry of shades and tones and trills in the most serene, composed way. I’ve generally thought the mark of a true artist is one who can always grow, the one who is the effortless, endless ivy climbing up the wall, not the bold, bright petunias that will die with the coming season.
The more I listen to “Erase,” the more I notice its brilliant little choices. How there isn’t really any standard structure, but there is melody that carries and travels and comes to confluence with something like a refrain. How deploying the kick and the string section so close together creates a beautiful kind of crescendo, worthy of a symphony stage. How the spark of inspiration that roused these words is the stark scene of a singular, complex feeling, a feeling of melancholy, ache and tragic realism, a feeling that is love without mention of the cursed and capitalized word.
In this state, with this hope, I’m so looking forward to Nov. 24. I’m so looking forward to hearing more and getting lost. I missed out on the “Ixora” pre-order that comes with the one-week-early release, which was silly of me. That’s alright, as I believe this one will be worth trying to hunt down in record stores rather than clicking through for it on iTunes. This one I want to hold onto. This one I want to study from all sides.
When I hear songs like this, when I listen to the soft honesty of pretty words and take in the brimming strings that serve as curtain to the patient epic grandeur, I cannot help but be inspired for something more to come. The music we hear that comes to mean something in our lives can come from so many places, and it can see us through so many more. Who can know how any art or life or love will grow?
“Sweetest taste, your armor
I can never know
Feeling, hold you’re honor
Bright as falling snow
Now your heaven keeps me honest
But you can see my grey has faded
And you can’t erase it
Never, I know you’re waiting
Listening to your heart
No one seems to notice
That all my broken parts get mended
But I feel alone
And you can’t erase it again
From my words your will was broken
Knowing I’ll never get it back
Feeling all your worries, I can never know
Bleeding for your kindness, I cannot control
Heaven or your Hell when
I have nothing to offer you now
When you feel alone
But you can’t erase it again
You’re still a breeze upon my skin
Close my eyes, breathe you in
I’m still the shadows in your night
Taking over until I fade into your light
But you won’t erase me
Heaven or hell will have to wait
You won’t erase me
So you just colored me from grey
Oh, through the grey
I thought I saw your face
In there I was searching
And I saw these days
When you didn’t know my name, oh
I can’t help this awful feeling
That I can’t erase you.”