The Austin Chronicle

Texas Platters

Reviewed by Doug Freeman, February 18, 2011, Music

Wil Cope

Sunset Craves (Deadbird)

Wil Cope's debut rolls with such an easy, natural rhythm that his unassuming style camouflages a similar songwriting talent. Lurking under his laid-back Austin twang are familiar harbingers; the honky-tonking "Stumble Creek" smacks of Gram Parsons, while "Avenue H" and "We Wish" add just enough pop tinge to tilt his sound toward Ben Kweller's down-home turn. Though "Ending It All" lingers a bit too long in its Wilco wake, the heavy-lidded "Fake Pearls" evokes the picture-perfect malaise of a Sixth Street sunrise, and "Mirror in Her Heart" adds a tender touch to its chorus of "ahs" courtesy of the Heartless Bastards' Erika Wennerstrom. Cope's songs are lullabies from life's other side, delivered with the well-worn but wide-eyed embrace and conviction that sips Whiskeytown-era Ryan Adams in a dive bar scrounging rounds out of empty pockets. At least he's in good company.


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