words by guia cortassa
At the turn of the 20th Century, in Italy, a new wave of poets began to gain a big attention because of their new approach to writing. Their poems opposed abruptly to the great epic and sublime of the Romantic tradition, and depicted their sense of melancholy towards the mundane and the small, everyday things no one almost pays attention to. They used words and language as music, playing with sounds and rhythm in their free verses as no one had ever done before; and refused the idea of the poet as a Saviour and hero. Their rebellion didn’t express in big gestures, but in long, solitary confinements, entrusting their writing to those calm and safe places within their souls. The critics gave them the name of “Crepusculars”, twilight poets.
A century later, Crepuscular poetry is alive within the songs of Thad Kopec’s latest album “The Shadow and the Caster”.
He started writing music with just a guitar during his sleepless nights in a rural Central Florida farm, and eventually moved to Nashville, where music is fated to be life’s highest and only energy. Together, the sense of nocturne intimacy of the acoustic melodies and the outburst of country music violins, give a unique palette to Kopec’s baroque folk, enriched by orchestral arrangements of horns and strings, and a female voice paralleling the main vocals.
Further nuance is added by the different sonic experiences the songwriter experimented with in the 12 tracks: from the some soft electronic of the opener “In the Days of the Comet,” to the gentle touches of psychedelic reverbs and organs projecting the listeners onto the sand of “Half Moon Distant Shores,” with ambient moods, Celtic echoes and wide, cinematic soundscapes like “Earthly Hollows”‘, the whole album feels as if Nick Drake, the Band and Sufjan Stevens collaborated to create a new, distinctive sound.
A fiction author as well as a musician (some of his short stories can be read on his website), Kopec’s songwriting has a strong literary quality. His lyrics, inspired by the works of John Steinbeck, H. G. Wells and J. L. Borges, share the Southern Gothic atmosphere of Flannery O’ Connor and quote verses by John Donne or Norse mythology. With his words, Thad Kopec explores and dispels the shared solitude and crepuscular intimacy of the mind’s restless wanderings at night. Like a poet, like a songwriter, like a man.
‘The Shadow & the Caster’ is released this Friday
You can buy it here