April Cope

Petals Fall

Bay Area singer-songwriter April Cope draws comparisons to Emmylou Harris, but in a key way she’s like Macy Gray: Either you love her voice or it gives you the willies. So don’t buy Petals Fall on my say-so; go to www.aprilcope.com, listen for a few seconds and decide what you think of her nasal soprano. If you like it, then I’m pretty certain you’ll love her latest release. Petals Fall has nine songs—an odd number, in several senses, yet probably why they’re so even in quality. They sound … well, alt-country is as good a description as any. Cope’s music is kind of folky, kind of indie, a tad jazzy (particularly in the rich, lively instrumental passages that highlight the best tracks). The opener and closer—“This Garden” and “Move Any Mountains”—stuck with me after the first listen. “Falling,” “Secret Shepherd” and “Camera Obscura” took hold the next time, even though the latter sounds a bit forced. “Angel Under Barbed Wire,” “Black Wing”—good stuff, too. Petals Fall won’t likely turn April Cope into a household name; less a tragedy for her than the masses who miss out.