About

 

A classically trained musician with a love for great songwriting, Roxi Copland’s innovative sound is forged at the crossroads of Americana, roots, and jazz. From her confessions that “the things I speak aloud might hurt the ones I love” to professing seductively “I prefer my arms with yours entwined,” the five songs that make up her I Come From Crazy EP reveal an artist unafraid to divulge her shortcomings, frustrations, and desires.

“It took a while for me to be self-confident enough to write a song without complex chords in it,” she recalls, referencing her previous life as a singing pianist in jazz clubs. “I noticed that what I really loved as a kid were songs that told stories, and a lot of those were country and Americana … my songwriting started to have more of a tilt towards that direction.” Throughout the EP, Copland’s sultry vocals are framed by country-tinged instrumentation from a stellar lineup of some of Austin’s finest—including Warren Hood on fiddle (Alejandro Escovedo, Joe Ely, The Waybacks), Adam Nurre on drums (David Ramirez, Jeremy Pinnell) James Bookert on banjo (Whiskey Shivers, Wild Child), Devin North on bass (Arielle), and Justin Douglas, who also engineered and co-produced the album with Copland, on pedal steel and guitar. The resulting sound is akin to a rowdier, rootsier Madeleine Peyroux or Melody Gardot.

Lead single “Daddy Don’t Do Politics,” which earned an accolade from the International Songwriting Competition (2020 Semi-Finalist, Folk/Singer-Songwriter category), might be the most timely of all the tracks on the EP. In just over two minutes, it offers up a succinct summation of that moment when a father gets a lesson in privilege from his more progressive daughter. “He didn’t appreciate me pointing out that he had a huge head start in life, and I didn’t appreciate him willfully ignoring a massive amount of privilege. So I got a little passive-aggressive and wrote this song and admittedly had a lot of fun while doing it,” Copland recalls.

Looking for an escape of sorts during the pandemic, Copland says she steered her efforts towards simply having fun with music, centering the storytelling, and looking internally to family dynamics for inspiration. “I was focusing on telling a story, whether it was funny, sarcastic, or getting a political dig in, and trying to write to that story rather than coming up with a song and then writing a story to fit.”

When almost all of her gigs fell off the calendar due to Covid, most of her income did as well. Serendipitously, Copland noticed that Douglas, an award-winning producer/engineer, had also lost all his bookings and was offering a “pay what you can” option for time at his King Electric Recording studio in Austin. Having worked with a massive list of artists that span every genre imaginable, from Celine Dion to Jimmy LaFave, Douglas proved to be the perfect guiding hand for putting Copland’s self-reflective musings to tape, and the EP came together very quickly. It didn’t hurt that Copland came in with a solid sense of direction in terms of how she wanted things to sound; “I knew 90% of what I wanted on every song before I went in there,” she explains. “When I took it to Justin, he added these interesting touches that I don’t think I would have come up with.” 

The EP closes with one of the most well-known of all traditional folk songs, “House of the Rising Sun.” As Copland details, she crafted an arrangement that harkens back to the lesser-known original version. “It was initially written for a woman to sing, which changes the meaning of the lyrics from the Animals’ arrangement that most folks are familiar with—about a guy that apparently just can’t stop visiting a New Orleans brothel. The original version is about the sex worker herself, and my arrangement goes back to that.” The resulting darker, more dissonant take is the perfect showcase for Copland’s most unique strengths, her ability to play with tradition and give it her own stamp, one of equal parts confidence and wit, and one that will have you returning to I Come From Crazy again and again.

 

Reviews & Awards

 

  • Finalist in the Folk / Americana Category (Song: Daddy Don’t Do Politics), Great American Song Contest 2021
  • Semi-Finalist in the Americana Category (Song: I Come From Crazy), International Songwriting Competition 2021
  • Honorable Mention in the Country Category (Song: I Come From Crazy), Songdoor International Songwriting Competition 2021

  • Semi-Finalist in the Americana Category (Song: I Come From Crazy), Unsigned Only Music Competition 2021

  • Semi-Finalist in the Folk / Singer-Songwriter Category (Song: Daddy Don’t Do Politics), International Songwriting Competition 2020

  • 3rd Place (Song: Bad Decision), Corpus Christi Songwriters’ Spring Songwriting Contest 2020

  • Nominee for ‘Album of the Year’ (Bad Decision), Radio Milwaukee Music Awards 2017

  • Nominee for ‘Song of the Year’ (Bad Decision), Radio Milwaukee Music Awards 2017

  • Nominee for ‘Solo Artist of the Year’, Radio Milwaukee Music Awards 2017

  • Nominee for ‘Independent Release of the Year’ (Bad Decision), Radio Milwaukee Music Awards 2017

  • “Roxi Copland delivers an unlikely mélange of vulnerability, self-reflection, street savvy, humor and sultriness…Copland’s airy arrangements and slowly insinuating melodic hooks, abetted by occasional glimmers of steel guitar, posits her in a space akin to where Norah Jones might have landed had her affinity for country music manifested differently…” –Milwaukee’s Shepherd Express, July 2017

  • “…a little sultry, a bit sassy, kinda sexy. Sort of like sipping scotch on the rocks…” –Bruce Winter, WUWM Radio, June 2017

  • “Bravo Roxi…I think it’s a good decision to buy Bad Decision!” –Vic DeLorenzo (Drummer for the Violent Femmes) June 2017

  • “Copland’s smoky voice floats over the album’s 11 tracks, displaying a strong handle of every note. Sometimes they’re torchy, like “Poison Ivy,” sometimes playful, like “If Heaven Don’t Play No Music” and “What Were You Thinkin’,” and sometimes they’re dark like “Thirteen Corners.” It’s an impressive assortment of songs that play to Copland’s vocal and instrumental strengths.”, Des Moines’ Cityview, June 2017

  • Jazz Artist of the Year, Wisconsin Area Music Industry (WAMI) April 2016

  • Nominee for “Best Female Vocalist”, Milwaukee’s Shepherd Express Best of 2015

  • “The tunes are smooth, refreshing, belying an unuttered and approachable complexity…Critics struggle to put Copland’s music into one musical genre, and Truth makes that effort even more pleasantly confounding. Much of Copland’s success is due to her ability to blur genre boundaries and embrace myriad styles of music on a single recording. With this full-length album, Copland ups the ante.”-Band Bombshell, May 2014

  • “The undeniable fact is that Roxi Copland can sing. With the kind of ability that puts italics in your voice when you talk about it. Sing.” –Des Moines’ Cityview, April 2014

  • Nominee for “Singer/Songwriter of the Year”, Wisconsin Area Music Industry (WAMI) March 2014

  • Nominee for “Jazz Artist of the Year”, Wisconsin Area Music Industry (WAMI) March 2014

  • “…a jazz/pop phenom…” –Examiner.com June 2013

  • “…golden-voiced singer/songwriter…” –Des Moines’ Cityview, June 2013

  • Nominee for “Best New Artist”, Wisconsin Area Music Industry (WAMI) April 2013

  • “Roxi Copland has got a gorgeous set of pipes – her voice is big, sultry and rich…if you’re going to pump out an album that’s just you and a baby grand, you’re counting on your voice to do all the heavy lifting. And Copland’s is clearly up to the task…There’s no doubt Copland lends herself easily to intimacy…Her voice is full and lush, and her piano work is top-notch…A solo show with Copland is like a conversation with a close friend.” –Des Moines’ Cityview, May 2012

  • “…a talented songwriter…incredible voice…If you haven’t heard Roxi Copland sing, you have missed out on one of life’s sultry, sinful little pleasures.” -Examiner.com April 2012

  • “Jazz/pop musician Roxi Copland is a petite powerhouse. Even when hidden behind a Baby Grand, her presence is huge thanks to a voluptuous voice and fierce piano skills.” -Seattle’s Crosscut.com October 2011

  • “…her voice is multidimensional, capable of resonating the essence of lost love…” –Kansas State Collegian, July 2010

  • “There is a fire inside Roxi Copland. You can see it in her hectic performance schedule and hear it in her dark, sultry voice…” –Des Moines Register, December 2008