Band of the Week: Soft Copy

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MEET THE BAND: Skylar Keffer (vocals, guitar), Paul Ryan (guitar, vocals), Matt Novak (drums, percussion), Mike Abbadini (electric piano, keyboards, vocals)

A HIGH LONESOME MIDWESTERN FOLK THING: This Cleveland band formed a few years ago and the lineup has shifted over the years. Keffer originally joined as a guitarist and only recently became the band's principal songwriter. "We've all played in bands around Cleveland since we've been teenagers," he says. "We have a lot of influences from '90s rock. I like Jason Molina and some of the early bands on the Secretly Canadian record label. I really dig the 'high lonesome Midwestern folk' stuff that came out of that era." The band put out an album a couple of years ago, but Ryan wrote all the songs for that album. Keffer wrote all the songs on the band's new album, The Big Quiet.

A 'SUPER CREePY' SPACE: The band spent the past year recording its new album, The Big Quiet, in a former medical clinic building that Keffer says is "out in the sticks." "It was awesome," he says. "The building is super creepy. It's this old medical building. It's super isolated out there. We recorded the drums in the X-ray room, which has lead walls, so it has really wild reverb. It was a weird place to do it."


WHY YOU SHOULD HEAR THEM: "Passion Flake," the opening track on The Big Quiet, features listless vocals and immersive guitar solos as it creates a Dinosaur Jr.-like wall of sound. "I'll Get Used to It" features a spacey mid-song bridge that shows off the band's psychedelic side. The droning "Another Planet Earth" has a Smashing Pumpkins vibe to it. "Paul [Ryan] brings the texture to the songs," says Keffer. "I bring things to the band in a standard classic singer-songwriter kind of way and Paul layers wonderful things over it. I write on acoustic guitar and bring the song to the band, and everyone just absolutely fucks it up, and I love it."

WHERE YOU CAN SEE THEM: Soft Copy performs with Factual Brains and the Swimfan at 9 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 19, at the Little Rose Tavern.

About The Author

Jeff Niesel

Jeff has been covering the Cleveland music scene for more than 20 years now. And on a regular basis, he tries to talk to whatever big acts are coming through town, too. If you're in a band that he needs to hear, email him at [email protected]
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