“Oh, my wandering eyes, nothing’s gonna take me by surprise I know, nothings gonna take me by surprise,” Kelsey Kopecky and Gabe Simon sing.
Starting with a bang, this “family” band consists of Kelsey Joy Kopecky (vocals, keyboard, bass), Gabe Simon (vocals, guitar, horns), Steven Holmes (guitar, lap steel guitar), David Krohn (drums), Markus Midkiff (cello, guitar, keyboards), and Corey Oxendine (bass, guitar, horns).
“Kids Raising Kids” is the band’s first full-length album after releasing three EPs — “Embraces,” “The Disaster” and “Of Epic Proportions,” between 2008 and 2010.
“Kids Raising Kids” opens up with “Wandering Eyes” as Kopecky and Simon catch your attention right away after a catchy guitar riff leads into their vocals.
Incorporating simple sounds like snapping fingers and whistling gives the band a down to earth feeling as “Heartbeat” opens with fingers snapping to an upbeat rhythm.
“I don’t know, no I don’t know what I can do for you,” Kopecky and Simon sing as clapping comes into the song.
All the sounds come together as the song continues with the full band jamming by the chorus.
Heavy drums begin “My Way,” as a softer guitar and keyboard comes in to join Kopecky’s gentle voice rolling on the beat.
The song picks up for the chorus however as Simon’s voice reaches its high pitch tone, singing “Why can’t you see it my way!” That's something reminiscent of the lead singer of indie pop band fun.
A smooth guitar riff starts “Are You Listening” as whistling is incorporated into the mix that will have you whistling along.
“Don’t be shy now my father said, if you’re honest, no one will complain or ask you are you listening,” Kopecky and Simon sing.
“Glow” begins in a similar fashion with a simple riff and gentle lyrics as the pace picks up toward the chorus.
The band shows its emotional side as “Change” is the halfway point of the CD. A song of love and how things can change throughout the relationship embodies the lyrics. Kopecky takes the lead on the song as her soothing voice is one that will have you listening to each word.
“My mother she told me, she knew when she looked in his eyes,” Kopecky sings. “Both of them traded their love for a moment in time.”
Where “Change” gave you a break from the upbeat tempo, “Hope” comes right back with an impressive drum intro to pick it up again.
“She Is the One” starts with a heavy bass line and lyrics that could match Muse; that is until Kopecky’s hauntingly beautiful voice comes in.
“She is the one but I see the devil in her,” Kopecky and Simon sing.
“Waves” brings the tempo back down to a relaxing beat as Kopecky sings of the ocean’s mysteries in her gentle voice.
“Swim in the deep, under the sea, starting to wonder if it has an end,” Kopecky sings.
Continuing the easy going beat is the intro to “Angry Eyes,” something that does not hold for the length of the song as the chorus picks up.
This is something the band has made its niche, though “Angry Eyes” doesn’t quite have the bang of earlier songs such as “My Way” or “Glow.”
“Ella,” the finale, opens with a simple keyboard riff as Simon lends his voice to the intro.
“E-l-l-a, I’m going back to the place I thought for sure you had come, but I forget that you’re so young,” Simon sings.
While the finale could have had more of an upbeat tempo to truly capture the Kopecky style, it showed they have an array of talent from upbeat jams to emotional ballads.
One look at the album's inside art work will have you gazing at Kelsey Kopecky’s watercolor portrait of geese soaring near an ocean shore.
All of the songs were written by the band as they recorded in Nashville, Tenn., at The Brown Owl. The album was produced, mixed and engineered by Konrad Snyder and mastered by Hank Williams.