There are so many factors that can go into a song these days.
Every song is different. An artist can make a song as big or as little as they want to. It’s all about how they build it. While a fully orchestrated and complex song can prickle your senses and take your breath away, sometimes simplicity gets the job done just as well. There’s something about a voice and a guitar that will never get old. This simplicity shines in Copilot’s newest single, “Look at Me”, and it’s worth noticing.
While indie retro-pop group Copilot officially began their musical career in 2015, it really all began when two singers, Ry McDonald and Maggie Quealy, first met and became friends in high school. Upon graduation, they went their separate ways to two different colleges. McDonald formed his own band called Suncooked and they began making a name for themselves in the Vermont area, eventually opening up for groups like the Dropkick Murphys. Maggie Quealy, on the other hand, focused on other activities until her junior year when she joined her school acapella group. During their times off, the two would find time to sing together and jam. McDonald eventually motivated Quealy to throw herself back into her passion for music. McDonald initially formed Copilot with a former member of Suncooked, but after a six month tour, he realized the greater potential he and Quealy had as a musical duo. They began performing in the Norfolk, MA area while posting covers on YouTube and working on their debut album. They eventually grew their band by three, bringing in “electric factory” Jake Machell, bassist Austin Beveridge, and drummer Dylan Allwine. They cite influences like The Kooks, The Avett Brothers, The Beatles, and Alabama Shakes and I can see many of these inspirations in their music and in “Look at Me”.
The song begins with a plain two note electric guitar melody and a vocalist singing a little “woo”, notes just as plain. It’s an easy and inviting sound for every listener and the catchy “woo”s almost encourage participation, singing along. Parts of the verses are separated by these “woo”s, making the lyrics feel like different parts of one big story. The female singer has a sultry tone, a controlled vibrato that gives in to a little shake every now and then. It adds an emotional vulnerability to her words. She has this amazing strain to her voice on the higher notes. It’s very raw. The male and female harmonies are so on point, they almost meld together as one. Upon singing the line “do you care”, percussion is finally introduced, drums with a static sound effect on them, slightly muffled. Little voices sing “doo” over and over again in the background, more used for a contrasting melody, for instrumentation purposes rather than vocal harmonies. While “Look at Me” ultimately gains a beat, there’s no drums, bass or piano for a majority of the song. It’s more bare bones than anything else. The song doesn’t need crazy instrumentation to communicate its message.
I know that something is wrong,
but my worries get gone.
I just had to sit there and laugh,
’cause I knew things weren’t so bad.
This song can be interpreted many ways but to me, it stood out as a song about living life after losing someone and possibly finding your way back to one another. She knows there’s a rift, something broken left there, but she just keeps smiling and laughing, trying to release themselves of their cares. She is trying to get through the everyday moments.
All the lights are on at the place,
people happy, dancin’ for heavens sake,
but you can’t see me out there.
All you need to know is I’m somewhere.
She is trying to be like all the rest, happy and free. She’s at a party trying to let go a little, but she’s still thinking about this other person. She doesn’t feel seen by them and while she doesn’t say it, it’s clear it bothers her.
Do you see me out there?
Do you even care?
Do you even care?
Do you care?
She wants to know if this person is even still aware of her presence or existence. Do they think about her? Do they care at all anymore? Do they not hurt the way she is hurting?
Look at you why you’re standin’ over there.
Think you’re pretty cute in your underwear,
but I can’t see you again for miles.
Don’t worry there, lover, I’ll wait the while,
I’ll wait the while, I’ll wait the while…
The first two lines read almost like a recollection or flashback of a better, happier time when they were together. But then she can’t see them again. They’ve disappeared. But she is willing to wait, put life on hold for them. She is hoping they will love again like they once did.
Miss you so much sometimes it really hurts,
but it’s okay for us to feel the burn.
Oh, it hurts.
This heartbreak is taking her over. She is feeling the pain and wishing they were with her. But she also believes that love comes with pain, and maybe they need this to make their love even stronger. Maybe they need to feel this to realize they want to reunite.
My feet are dirty from the street,
but I’m still standin’ on two feet.
Look at me baby.
Here I am baby,
look at me.
She may be dirty, tainted by the heartbreak and the pain, but she is still standing just as strong. She’s waiting for this person to turn around and look at her again. There she is, waiting – waiting for them to find their way back to her.
Hey, Quick Sponsored Thing: PR Service to Get Your Music Featured in Blogs & Spotify Playlists
Our friends at Omari are really good at helping artists get heard and listed in cool indie blogs and playlists. They've worked with big acts (Judah & the Lion) and bedroom artists alike (which is feasible cuz service starts at $77). Anyway, take a look. Disclaimers: it's an affiliate link, and yeah, they're good.
If you're tired of pitching your music yourself, if you finally want to find your audience, or if you just like us, click here to learn more.