As the world, or at least the United States, moves to resume pre-pandemic life at breakneck speed, I’m torn between remaining socially distant (i.e. staying safe) or heading indoors for a live performance. So far, I’ve gravitated towards the former and found haven amid exciting new music — music that makes me dance, music that lets me escape, music that lets me reflect.
That the shut-down resulting from the pandemic only aided the flow of releases over the last several months makes sense as musicians used the time creatively. Two Seattle-based artists, Kate Neckel and Eric Lilavois, found themselves on the cusp of their own new project just as the mandatory closures were imposed. Neckel is a painter who brought music to the forefront of her creativity in recent years as she began collaborating with Pearl Jam’s Mike McCready for their Infinite Color & Sound project. Lilavois is a record producer, musician, and owner of Seattle’s iconic London Bridge Studios. They bonded when Neckel approached Lilavois to produce some songs for her but ended up connecting and using their newfound downtime to forge the Copper Trees, which resulted in the release of their debut record Rêver last month.
Following the release of their singles “Eyes” and “Hidden View”, the Copper Trees are excited to premiere their latest single, and the first track from Rêver, “Concrete Veins” here at PopMatters. Set against a brick wall at London Bridge, the unornamented video was recorded as a live performance by filmmaker Ryan Cory.
Neckel and Lilavois, Seattle transplants via New York and Los Angeles respectively, characterized the essence of the song as being at the core of the band. NeckeI noted that it “was one of the songs that I initially brought in to Eric, and we developed it together. It’s an unapologetically, straightforward song about growth, evolution, and empowerment. Doing your thing and not giving up.”
Lilavois nodded, “It’s been [an] anthem here. We’re doing things our own way as independent artists. Making our own videos, producing and recording our own record. Doing things completely independently and our own way.”
The video for “Concrete Veins” reflects their straightforward disposition, as Neckel described the directness of it (“showing up [in] jeans and a t-shirt, singing the song”) and Lilavois expounded that “exploring any other concepts felt just contrived to us. The simplicity of the song speaks for itself. It was cool to just present it in that way.”
During our conversation, more of which is still to come, the Copper Trees shared that they will be live-streaming a performance and conversation with the podcast Talking Tracks Live on Thursday, May 13th. The event will be available to view on Facebook and Instagram.