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Album review: 'Once Around the Sun'


Copper Hill

'Once Around the Sun'


A dynamic quartet of classically trained Eastman musicians, Copper Hill defies traditional Americana standards with its folk-art fusion of country, roots, blues, and jazz. Formed in 2017, Copper Hill is celebrating the release of its debut full-length album, "Once Around the Sun."

Violinist-vocalists Willa Finck and Katie Knudsvig share jovial duets in "Poppies" and the title track -- their instrumental harmonies and vocal harmonies in sync. "Tangerine" features a complex pizzicato part by upright bassist Caroline Samuels, while Ethan Cypress's banjo shines out in "Stuck in Time." The band creates lyrical irony in "Moonshine" and "Wildflowers" by using the fragrant, floral imagery of natural life to portray serious metaphorical messages about death and existence. Elsewhere, Copper Hill pays dark homage to she-wolf mythology in "Witching Hour."

"Once Around the Sun" is an odyssey of upbeat, whirling reels and fruitful ballads with melancholic, modal twists. Each song is a sweet and hauntingly lush poem with forward-driving daydream music built around it.