Much like Samantha Crain and Sherree Chamberlain, Cope’s voice and arrangements are both undeniably Southern, if tailored, sophisticated and modernized enough to avoid be cloyingly so. It’s just the right touch of twang, layered between airy indie harmonies and enchanting melodies.
Wipe away everything but the voice and Cope is a dead ringer for Chan Marshall (aka Cat Power), where the occasional crack, strain or quiver only makes the finished product that much more engrossing.
But while Cope’s singing is her greatest strength, her clever lyrics (“Swimming Pool”) and delightful guitar riffs (“Your Skin”) don’t fall far behind, making A Deeper Root a multidimensional debut worth delving into.
Opening track “Gotta Lot of Nerve” grips you from the very start, boasting a rock hook that’s been stripped down into an indie-folk anthem that finds Cope chopping her vocals at moments and elongating the chords at others. The plucky and saucy “Pity River” follows, winding into “The Fall,” a standout that finds her gifts coming together in a rhythmically dynamic track that lets her voice run wild to showcase all its tricks and charms.
It’s a gorgeous, empowering five-song effort, one worth repeated listens. There must be something in the water.
A Deeper Root is available for download at chelseycopemusic.bandcamp.com and on iTunes. —Joshua Boydston