Roxi Copland’s life has seen her yo-yo between
the Pacific Northwest and the Midwest. The child
of Aberdeen, Wash. (one-time home of Kurt Cobain),
Copland came to Iowa for college, moved to Vancouver,
B.C., last year and now finds herself readying
to move back to the Midwest this summer.
“I moved to British Columbia with my husband
for his (post-doctoral) work eight months ago,”
Copland said in a phone interview from the road.
“And once this tour is done, we’re moving to
Milwaukee. I’m in the process of packing.”
Through all the scenery changes, the petite
girl with the big sound has managed to keep
herself productive. Copland has released two
EPs since 2008 and has a new album coming out
this month (“Pretty Lies,” see review in this
issue). Adding to her travels, Copland returned
to Newton to record this latest effort.
“I love Iowa. I consider it a second home,”
she said. “I’ve always enjoyed recording there.”
In between albums, Copland has found ample time
to tour as well — as is the case now.
“It’s been going really well,” she said, speaking
about her month-long tour. “It’s almost done.
There’s Kansas City left, then St. Louis and
the big finale in Des Moines. It’s been a fast
Part of Copland’s draw is her music’s great
accessibility. She’s extremely easy to listen
to and has cultivated a performance that’s highly
versatile. She’s toured both with a backing
band and as a solo act, performing with nothing
between her and the audience but a baby grand
and her smoky voice — two scenarios in which
Copland finds herself equally at home.
“There are things I really love about both,”
she said. “I really enjoy having the big, full
sound of a band and all the things that allows
you to do… I’ve been lucky to be able to have
my brother come along on this tour and play
bass, so that’s been really nice. But it’s (also)
nice to be able to play with just a piano and
have a much more intimate kind of show.”
There is no doubt Copland lends herself easily
to intimacy. With a band behind her, Copland’s
songs hop with jazzy, lively arrangements. But
it’s in her solo performances where Copland’s
talents really come to bear. Her voice is full
and lush, and her piano work is top-notch. In
addition, the lyrics behind songs like the jazzy
“Youthful Indiscretion” and the quintessential
bluesy break-up song “Look Me in the Eyes” all
speak to loves lost and secrets shared. A solo
show with Copland is like a conversation with
a close friend.
Fan interest in that more intimate show is the
thing that was ultimately the driving force
behind Copland’s decision to produce “Pretty
Lies,” which is comprised entirely of piano
and vocals. The album showcases her vocal talents
in a unique way, and that suits Copland just
“It’s an unconventional album,” Copland said.
“I think I did exactly what I set out to do.
I hope it’s the kind of album that people enjoy
over breakfast and the morning paper.”
After this tour wraps up, Copland will take
a well-earned rest.
“I’ll go home for about a month and relax,”
she said. “Then I’ll start up again, and get
to work on the next album. I don’t tend to stay
still very well.” CV