Close your eyes. Cue the electronic drum beat. Let the music wash over you. What do you see?
Music lovers can’t seem to attend enough concerts to satiate their need for great art, but I’ve always believed that music is best enjoyed alone. It’s an activity meant to be done by oneself—no distractions, just you and the sounds. As I’m treated to Coopertheband’s latest production, I can’t help but see the other side. I close my eyes. The drums commence. The music washes over me. I’m transported to a festival: a massive, outdoor fair with attendees in record numbers. Explosions of colored cornstarch paint the sky. Smiling faces sit atop the shoulders of cheerful concertgoers. The band’s music stands proudly on a foundation of crowd noise and chanting. That’s how “Stuck” is meant to be enjoyed. It’s a collective human experience.
Expertly produced by Kyle Schonewill, Coopertheband’s “Stuck” is a song about the dreadful feeling of being trapped inside your mind—unable to move towards your goals. Ironically, the track is inspirational, and that’s undebatable. “Stuck” is big, and the musicianship of every band member is showcased center stage. It’s crafted to make you feel like you’re right there in the mix. Even its electronic elements have an organic feel.
The production presents a certain positivity much like you’d find in hooks by bands like American Authors, Magic Giant, or Castlecomer. Cooper’s vocal performance harks back to those of indie rock singers from the early 00s. Think the National’s Matt Berninger or The Flaming Lips’ Wayne Coyne. In fact, “Stuck” fills an alt-pop void in my soul that I had forgot I’d been trying to fill since Yoshimi battled the pink robots eighteen years ago.
This new single is a tour de force for Coopertheband, and two specific elements elevate it from good to great. First, the acoustic bridge is more than we asked for, but more than welcome to stay. It’s arranged, played, and recorded beautifully, and it sets up the explosive last chorus like a bowling pin. Second, of all its subtle components, the background vocals in the chorus stop the show. The moment I hear the first “And I know, and I know that I’m drowning,” I imagine myself as a judge on NBC’s The Voice smashing the button down and spinning in my chair.
Coopertheband comes from Jackson, TN and is currently operating as a five-piece ensemble. When you hear their newest single, it’ll come as no surprise that the group is on the rise—being featured on major networks like HBO, ESPN, and TruTV. New fans will be pleased to find out that they have three albums under their belt. That means there’s a lot more music to dive into.
Magic can happen when a group of people get together and harmonize. This band is a living example of how music can affect your mood. If you’re looking for a challenge today, stream “Stuck” and try not to smile.
Written by Matt Kalicky