When I wrote an album review before the COVID-19 pandemic, it was easier to fake it a bit while the whole outside world was going on. But when writing this review, I hesitate, both because Lane’s Copse is a 2020 release off Illegally Blind worth hesitating over, but also because we have a new relationship to music (and the music review) during a pandemic.
So I pose the formidable question yet again: Chris what are you doing with your life? Wes Kaplan on guitar and vox, Ian Kovac on bass, Jesse Weiss on drums, what are you doing with your life? Why music? Why the name Lane, and why this record entitled, Copse?
These are all rhetorical questions as I will purposefully seek to answer none of these questions, for as I will prove below, finding answers to these questions is a futile affair.
At times, a close reader of mine can point to empty life-affirmation and truisms in my work. I try to be as honest as I can with myself in my writing, yet this honesty can take shortcuts, cut corners, and take the easy way out.
Truth is, I like you, aren’t always so damn life affirming either. We have micro and macro moods, good days, bad days, days when our stomachs feel like an old gutter. Days when we feel damn near angelic, days when we feel like a troll.
Part of what makes music so appealing is that a record, a good record, is as much a stabilizer as it can define a person or period in time. So in the good times and bad, Lane is there. A mood is there. A place in time away from your present state, whether inaccessible or not, is there.
This record is special because it provides a mood: cool, snide, yet prismatic and borderless. Copse is memorable, a record that allows the listener access into a psychedelic alternate reality.
Music does more than just provide access to a place or time. If you are familiar with Schopenhauer, music also represents a will, a will of the maker, the listener, and the reviewer. Will is a mystery. Not just because each person has a ‘unique’ significant will, but also because, much like days, a persons own will fluctuates ever so slightly. Everyone has different goals in mind at different times, settings, and placements.
This is why the role the flanger plays in Lane’s sound is important. The highest pitched sounds seem to warble, they are unsure of where to go when they reach their highest peaks. Wes Kaplan’s vocals come across the mix like a cold indifferent wind, infecting everything in the sound’s path.
These are just some of the ways how Lane augments an already twisted, uncertain social longing. In this way, Lane’s Copse is a genuine mirror of our twisted, uncertain time.
Now more than ever, we ask you to support local and working musicians during the COVID-19 pandemic and please buy more music directly from musicians and labels.
Chris Hues is a human & writer from Boston, Ma & Associate Editor of bostonhassle.com. //// They can be reached at [email protected] or @crsjh_ via instagram & twitter.