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The best kept secret in music


This band has no press


"IN MOTION" LP (03.22.2005)


Feeling a bit camera shy


Angelic, breathy vocals, melodic, lush instrumentation all backed by an unwavering rock drive — that was the musical foundation for Copeland’s full-length debut, Beneath Medicine Tree. With the album’s release in the Spring of 2003, the Atlanta-based foursome found themselves landing a seemingly never-ending string of noteworthy tours, garnering significant acclaim in the music press, all the while becoming one of the label’s best-selling acts, despite their very brief history as a band. In Motion offers a different dynamic to Copeland’s always evolving sound, and it’s of little coincidence that the disc’s title seems to be eluding to the record’s overall theme. “I said that with Beneath Medicine Tree, I wanted to make a record that moves people,” singer/ Aaron Marsh explains. “With In Motion, I wanted to make a record that makes people move.” Spearheaded by longtime producer/collaborator/”silent member” Matt Goldman, the In Motion sessions were a pair of productive months, thanks in large part to Goldman’s direction. “After two months of working on your songs everyday, you begin to lose objectivity,” Marsh says. “He’s very helpful and patient with us.” Pulling seminal albums from their record collections (The Cardigans, The Police, New Order, The Posies, The Beach Boys or The Beatles) and working as a fully collaborative unit (bassist James Likeness even created In Motion’s artwork), Copeland came to these songs on their own terms. Careful evaluation of the sounds that had inspired them and unconventional recording techniques were pushed to the forefront; tearing down and reconfiguring new drummer Jon Bucklew’s kit for each song became commonplace. In the end Copeland delivered In Motion for mixing to Ken Andrews (Failure, Year Of The Rabbit, Mae), the final piece of a more time-intensive and laborious process. But taking the easy road with In Motion was never an option. As Marsh explains: “We wanted every song to sound different and get some more non-traditional sounds.” One of In Motion’s moving highlights is “Pin Your Wings,” which fires off with sure-fire pop rock power pomp, breaking right into melodious verses that instantaneously etch themselves into the listener’s memory. Another standout, “Kite”, exhibits Copeland at its most naked and vulnerable, utilizing an accordion to give the track its vintage warmth and charm. As Marsh simply puts it, “We wanted the song to sound old.” But it’s more a testament to the band’s discerning ear for the most miniscule of sounds in the studio. “Brian and I are total freaks about guitar tones,” Marsh says. “That could make or break a record for us.” Before committing their material to tape, many of the songs of In Motion were first road tested to ensure that it didn’t just meet the band’s expectations—but their fans’—on wildly successful tours with Switchfoot and underground rock veterans Sparta. Their tenacious schedule behind Beneath Medicine Tree kept the band on the road for nearly two years straight, but by the time that Copeland arrived in the studio the songs that would become In Motion had perfectly aged—perhaps even far beyond their years. “I like the way a song can grow and mature,” Marsh says. ”It’s like a living thing. The longer you wait to record it, the better it is.”