Umi Copper: ‘Requiem’ review

What I Know:
Despite having been working in and around music for 10 years, little is known about Californian multi-instrumentalist Umi Copper; perhaps because – until a few months ago – he’d still yet to release anything of his own.

His debut track, All gained attention from the likes of Zane Lowe and Pharrell Williams (perhaps the biggest accolade of all is that it nearly featured on an earlier entry of this very blog) and now he’s returned with second single Requiem from the EP of the same name, which is released next week.

What I Like:
As on All, the instrumentation on Requiem is simply stunning. Both tracks are built from the ground up, starting with the drums but, whereas All tripped into being with a tentative shuffle, Requiem bursts into life with a drum-rolling pattern that goes all around the kit.

Soon, this is joined by a pensive piano chord progression and Copper’s voice – thick with Horace Andy-tones – comes to the fore.

Later, strings and a bass line are added to the mix along with a pinch of atmospherics and yet, for all that Requiem has clearly been ‘produced’, the overall vibe is very organic; you can imagine Copper live-recording and looping each track as he goes.

Lyrically, he deals with loss, spirituality and darkness; indeed of the EP, he told Pigeons and Planes:

I titled the project Requiem because every track represents the passing of a spirit that once died or passed through me; a call to those who are no longer here, confronting my past demons head on. I needed to pay a sonic homage to that energy and those experiences.

Let’s hope that, while Copper may have, for the most part, exorcised those demons, he’s able to tap into those experiences again from time to time. After all, when they sound this good, it’d be a shame not to.


Umi Copper: All
Massive Attack: Girl, I Love You (featuring Horace Andy)
Jim James: State of the Art (A.E.I.O.U.)


The Overview
Recommended Music | 8th June 2018

The ‘Charm Offensive’
Pete Yorn and Scarlett Johansson: Iguana Bird

The ‘Military Coup’
Halestorm: Uncomfortable

‘Guerilla Warfare’
Oneohtrix Point Never: Warning

The ‘Quiet Riot’
Ben Howard: Nica Libres at Dusk