Love it or hate it, “You Are My Sunshine” is an immortal Pop standard, one re-imagined by B.B. King, Arethra Franklin, Johnny Cash, Bing Crosby and many other notable artists.
Copeland joined that long list when it released The Grey Man EP in February, and its version of the classic finds Aaron Marsh flirting with ethereality. It’s a place the singer/songwriter took Copeland for 2008’s You Are My Sunshine, a departure from the band’s Indie Rock flavor. That album is dripping with what Marsh describes as a “constant flow of feelings,” and it’s not exactly full of happiness and sunbeams. Really, darker shades of Electronica and Pop underpin lyrics like “You break your neck to keep your chin up” and “I got my life in a suitcase … I’m ready to run, run, run away.”
“I think it’s always good to marry the organic with the synthetic,” says Marsh, commenting on the healthy dose of delay-laden guitars and digital drums.
The band opted to tease followers with a demo of “Chin Up” on the 2007 release Dressed Up and in Line. Though it’s loaded with B-sides and demos, the release also illustrates Copeland’s appetite for covers — when was the last time indie rockers covered “Black Hole Sun” for a record?
With tour dates and the support of Tooth & Nail Records, Copeland is back on its feet after a brief, unsuccessful affair with Columbia Records in early 2007. The band is touring with Anchor & Braille, a side project led by Stephen Christian, singer of the Rock outfit Anberlin. Marsh produced A & B’s debut album, Felt, which drops in August. It’s a personal record, he says, because he spent five years working on it.
“It’s really cool to make something at home that sounds good enough to release,” Marsh says.