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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