Canadian musicians have always been known for their songwriting abilities. Since the beginnings of national musical pride and the early days of CanCon Canadian songwriters have been put on a pedestal and acclaimed for their music. From his catchy but thoughtful melodies to the poetic lyrics of each of his songs, Calgary’s Michael J Copley is continuing this tradition, showing off all his abilities on his newly released album What’s In Your Head.
What’s In Your Head is an outstanding example of strong songwriting and powerful storytelling. Copley is a master of emotion and theatrics, and each of the album’s 10 tracks offers a different look into the artist’s own head. Overall it feels like a soundtrack to a movie or musical theatre, a mainly dramatic collection full of emotion and well-written symbolism.
The album starts off with the Pink Floydian “Introducing: What’s In Your Head”, a multivoiced descent into madness. What exactly is this saying about Copley? You’ll start to question what’s happening in his head and for the remaining tracks you’ll listen carefully to the adventure he creates.
Symbolism continues in “Death of a Loved One”: the song feels empty, and in his echoed voice and lost and mournful tone Copley brings forward a feeling of being very much alone, hard to create and even sadder to hear. This is done incredibly well and in this and the remaining tracks Copley shows real artistic creativity. He also takes a spin at some spoken word poetry in the dramatic “Evening Departure”, giving a deeper look at whatever ghosts inhabit Copley’s brain.
It’s a lucky thing that Copley’s musical talents are equally strong and extend beyond the written word. Not just in the artsy/poetic way, but in that he can write catchy radio-friendly tracks as well. At times he sounds like 30 Seconds to Mars (“Long Time”) and Third Eye Blind (“Out of Your Head”) and in these poppier songs he’s able to create music that will get stuck in your head and provide a tangible answer to the album’s title. Musically he’s strong as well: piano, guitars and percussion are all perfectly done, and using vocal harmonies throughout the album (“Downstream” and “Out of Your Head” are examples) he shows his real technical abilities and talents.
Artistic folks will love this album. It takes real creativity to create this sort of work, and fans of this genre will really admire what Copley has done. It’s a big step in what will be a fantastic career, and Copley shows why he fits into the category of great Canadian songwriters.
Where to get the album? What’s In Your Head deserves to be celebrated, and fans in Calgary will have the chance to do so at the album release show on Friday, September 21! It’s a do-not-miss show, with a strong album kickoff and both acoustic and full-band sets during the night. Fans across Canada will also get the chance to buy the album digitally, enjoying every minute of the album’s creation and spreading the word about this emerging talent. Check out Copley’s website and Facebook for updates, and keep loving Canadian music. With stars like Michael J Copley emerging onto the scene, our music scene is alive and well.