Boulder indie folk singer/songwriter Sawyer Bernath is Copper Leaf. Though Bernath’s been involved in music for years, his debut release as Copper Leaf just dropped last month. It’s a 16-track album, which Bernath wrote all himself (except for the final track which was a dual effort made with Eric Dorr) and features a long list of talented local musicians.
Listen to Copper Leaf’s debut record Lay Awake:
While some singer/songwriters go for that here-it’s-me-and-my-guitar approach, Copper Leaf’s debut release does not, and believe me, that’s a good thing. Lay Awake is full of beautiful harmonies featuring vocals by Eric Dorr, Liz Berube, Meagan Rudge, Ryan Brasher, and Sydney Miller. It’s also got an entire string quartet, comprised of Andrew Giordano (violin), Joshua Ulrich (violin), Andrew Krimm (viola), and Zachary Reeves (cello).
Of course Bernath’s sometimes earnestly bare and other times subtle and echoey vocals remain at the forefront of every track, but this album showcases some amazing instrumentation too, ranging from complex and pretty string melodies, to smooth horn solos, to steady percussive swings. Bernath has enlisted some major talent in these areas as well, with Bradley Morse (upright bass) and Carl Sorenson (drums and percussion) holding down rhythm and Dave Laub (alto and tenor sax), Eric Dorr (trumpet), Leah Concialdi (bari sax), and Tyler Bentley (trombone) rocking on horns. Jacob Passini (cello) and Theresa Peterson (violin) are also in the mix.
Lay Awake, which was recorded at The Keep Recording, Coupe Studios, and at Bernath’s home, is an impressive debut. The fact that Bernath has employed so much talent for the instrumentation of his first record has us excited for Copper Leaf’s present and future plans.
Give Lay Awake a listen for yourself above, and keep up with this new and talented artist on Copper Leaf’s website.
All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.