Rollicking, buoyant, and bittersweet, “Twenty One”, the new single released today from Seattle-based duo The Copper Trees, is an eloquent, eminently engaging piece of pop-infused Americana. Together, singer-songwriters and producers Kate Neckel and Eric Lilavois have crafted a beautiful melodic celebration of moments remembered.
“Twenty One” is a song about loss, yes, but it is also an entreaty to stay open to one’s own intuition. Working through the creation of this song together, fully embracing the path on which they found themselves, the experience became the guide and conduit through which Lilavois and Neckel were able to articulate the complexity of their feelings. “I hadn’t realized there were things I subconsciously started to disconnect and shut off from.” says Lilavois, “The wonder of this experience reconnected me to them, connected Kate and me in a whole new way, and connected us to really listening to what was coming through in the moment. I think the song can maybe give people a space to process and honor some of those same things.”
“Twenty One” reminds us all that there is no time limit on grief, and no single way to navigate it. Grief is not something you move past, it’s something you move with, eventually, hopefully, to a place of joy. “You don’t have to put a period on the sentence,” says Lilavois. “Be open to what you may not fully understand; celebrate connectedness, cherish memories, and be fully present creating new ones.”
Neckel and Lilavois, originally from New York City and Los Angeles respectively, started working together when Neckel sought out Lilavois to produce her solo EP. The duo quickly found that they had a natural connection, sparking the inspiration to further collaborate and form The Copper Trees. In early 2020, they started writing, recording, and producing their debut album RÊVER at Seattle’s London Bridge Studio.
In 2021 the duo decamped to the legendary Prairie Sun Studios in Cotati, CA to work on new material. “We wanted to take a trip to work on some new material, find a place to get away from our day-to-day routines, and surroundings, and just have a few days to focus together,” says Neckel. “From the moment we boarded the plane, we were unexpectedly surrounded with signs and memories of a dear friend Eric had lost many years ago, Ryan Hoherd.” Indeed, at every turn, coincidences, deja vu, and connections continued to reveal themselves, and they soon found the underlying purpose of their trip came clear.
Neckel is an artist, collaborator, and musician whose artwork has been exhibited in galleries, and featured internationally. In 2019, she launched her music career when she collaborated with Rock and Roll Hall of Fame lead guitarist from Pearl Jam, Mike McCready, and formed Infinite Color & Sound, an interactive art and music exhibition with a limited run of live shows that included onstage collaborations with the legendary photographer, Danny Clinch and former Red Hot Chili Pepper, Josh Klinghoffer.
Lilavois produces a wide variety of musical acts and styles and has earned substantial producer, engineer, and mixing credits, including his work with Ayron Jones, Saint Motel, King Youngblood, Island Apollo, and more. In January 2021 Lilavois was named Top 10 Hard Rock Producer on the Billboard Producer / Songwriter Charts and has since produced 3 Top Ten charting Singles. He is one of the owners of the historic London Bridge Studios in Shoreline, WA (Pearl Jam, Brandi Carlile, Soundgarden, Dave Matthews), and the President of the Pacific Northwest Chapter of The Recording Academy.
Photo Courtesy: Austin Wilson