Premiere: Ben Copperhead shares the lush arrangements and disarming melodies of ‘Franny and the Songbirds’

This song gets a lot done in just over two-and-a-half minutes, so don’t be surprised if you find yourself going right back for a second listen. The New York-based multi-instrumentalist Ben Copperhead (who made music as Baby Copperhead in a previous life) has a new album due at the end of the month, and his new single is gorgeous. Soaked in strings and metrically all over the place, it doesn’t stand still for even a second – and it works, brilliantly at that.

Of his new song, Copperhead says: “It was written in 2020 during the lockdown on my nylon-string classical guitar. It’s about the day in the life of my eccentric cat Franny-Kaede aka ‘Kae-chan’ who is very independent. The dark closet ‘dungeon’ is her favorite place to sleep and she loves to watch birds from the window. The song unravelled into unexpected places harmonically so I thought a string arrangement would be a nice setting for the song. I was thinking along the lines of some Beatles classics with strings, like ‘Yesterday’ or ‘Eleanor Rigby.’ At first, I wrote a string trio arrangement for this song but then decided to add the 4th voice to make a string quartet. Voice and guitar were recorded together to tape, then I had the strings come into the studio later. Brent Arnold, who also played cello, and Mike Tarantino engineered the string sessions.”

Accompaniment is provided by the excellently named Stringed Serpents, with whom Copperhead regularly performs: Arnold on cello, Jessica Pavlone on viola and Tom Swafford on violin. Out tomorrow, we’ve got your first look at its Jonathan Levy-directed video. Wailing Viridescence follows on Friday April 28th via Shimmy-Disc

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