- Something Less
- Find Your Own Way Home
- More Than You Could Know
- Stay, Don’t Go
At times, the music industry can be unjust. It seems like the little, small time bands with a great sound and passion get left in the ditches while money making bands get snatched up by the dozen. In this instance, Coopertheband is the little guy, flying under the radar with an exuberant blend of indie rock. However, with the album “Kings”, Cooper is looking to overcome the giant that is the music industry, just as it’s namesake King David did to Goliath.
Something Less is a rather laid back jam. Like easing into a pool on a summer day, the band carefully exposes the listener to each facet of what to expect with the album without ever becoming overbearing. Soft electric leads add emphasis at all the right moments while subtle violin and drumming gives a touch of depth to the soundscape.
The most phenomenal aspect of Coopertheband is quickly becomes apparent as the listener realizes what truly steals the show are the vocals on display. The dueling male and female voices are tremendously executed which gives a ton of diversity to the songs and allows for dialogue to flow easily back and forth.
These vocal switch offs are most dazzling in the songs Find Your Own Way Home and More Than You Could Know. Find Your Own Way Home is doused in folk atmosphere as male and female counterparts converse with each other, trading off nearly every line and combine for croon the haunting refrain of, “Find your own way home…” amidst a sea of violin.
More Than You Could Know gives off strong Deas Vail vibes. The acoustic guitar led track slowly builds and sways like the ebbing of the tide as layers of keyboard and strings are added to the mix. The vocals are especially excellent as they soar to contrast the rather sombre instrumentation.
The title track, Kings, continues the trend of a Deas Vail sound. The track effortlessly transitions between laid back verses, abound with beauty to the soaring melodies of the chorus holds. The track even features some amazing guitar work in the form of a blistering solo.
Giants, my personal favorite on the record, exudes a Gungor vibe with an upbeat tempo. The track shines the most light on traditional instrumentation than the others on the record. Violins take a back seat while guitar, bass, and drums take over the mix while piano leads the way with beautiful tones. It’s nearly impossible not to tap your toe while listening to this little gem.
The album closer Stay, Don’t Go creates an air of tranquility as the rather sombre feeling track has an upbeat underlying. The trade off of male and female vocals again shine rather brightly to create some memorable melodies that surely will last after the album stops playing. For instance, the last several minutes of the song find Cooper singing, “You’ll see me standing there / you don’t always need a light to see” while the female voice echos, accompanied by stellar guitar work.
The only thing I found myself wanting after the album had concluded was for the band to step out of their comfort zone a little more. While talent is obviously spilling from every inch of the record, I felt the group often toed the line of creating some truly awesome folk or experimental moments, but chose to play it safe and keep to the confines of a more traditional indie rock sound. For instance, I really found myself wanting the instrumental segment found towards the back end of More Than You Could Know to continue on a bit long, spread it’s wings a little more, and venture into a more “spacy” sound.
Overall: Coopertheband are a great up and coming indie rock project. It’s an astonishing feat that after such a short musical existence, such beauty and excellence could be crafted. With a debut as strong as “Kings”, everything to come is extremely promising.
RIYL: Gungor | Deas Vail | Bastille