You Are My Sunshine
You Are My Sunshine begins with "Should You Return," a midtempo number drenched in Aaron Marsh's vocal harmonies. The frontman's voice has grown considerably since Copeland launched in 2000, now encompassing everything from a low tenor range to a borderline-effeminate head voice, and his vocals flaunt their true scope on the opening track. You Are My Sunshine proceeds in similar fashion, mixing sonic uplift with a light, mellow approach that seeks to endear but not overwhelm. The album's secret weapon is the inclusion of budding songstress Rae Cassidy Klagstad, whose voice recalls a more soulful incarnation of the DuPree twins from Eisley. Her guest contributions often make for the best songs, from the careful meander of "Not So Tough Found Out" to the electronic waltz (complete with quiet stabs of horns) of "The Day I Lost My Voice (The Suitcase Song)." Fans of Death Cab for Cutie's early material will find something familiar about You Are My Sunshine, which often flaunts the same combination of intimate, Sunday-afternoon songcraft and light electronic flourishes. These tracks aren't as immediately ingratiating as Copeland's past work, perhaps, but serious listens reveal a growing band that has learned to couch melody in a number of interesting contexts.