The signature sound of the Tyler sibling band Eisley has always been vocals that soar, swoop and echo like the call of the Sirens.Tuesday night at Trees, that sound grew even more ethereal.
Christie DuPree, the youngest daughter of the clan, has joined Eisley on its current tour with an enchanting soprano that mirrors that of her sister, lead singer Sherri DuPree-Bemis. Standing center stage, she soloed, harmonized and played a confident game of call-and-response with her big sis on new and old gems, including "I Wasn't Prepared," a majestic track from Room Noises, the band's 2005 debut album for Warner Bros.
Eisley has shuffled its lineup considerably in recent months due to family obligations: Remington DuPree - Christie's bandmate in Merriment - is drumming in place of his brother Weston, while Elle and Shealeen Puckett of the Albuquerque duo Poema have replaced guitarist Chauntelle DuPree-D'Agostino and keyboardist Stacy DuPree-King.
There's no word yet on how long this "open-formatted" lineup (as the band's calling it) will remain. But with Christie's strong voice leading the way, the new recruits sounded like they'd been in Eisley all along.
At its melancholy best Tuesday night, Eisley sounded like Kate Bush fronting Radiohead. DuPree-Bemis talked about the inherent sadness in some of its songs and referenced her 2007 divorce from New Found Glory guitarist Chad Gilbert. Earlier, she dedicated a tune to "anyone who's been screwed over in their lives."
But just when the show threatened to turn into a pity party, Eisley brightened things up. Remington DuPree jazzed up several tunes with swinging metal rhythms and Shealeen Puckett illuminated the music with candy-coated keyboards, especially on the Beatlesque "Shelter."
Eisley preceded another moody group, Copeland, the Florida-based ensemble led by singer-keyboardist Aaron Marsh. Reunited in 2014, four years after staging a farewell tour, the group kicked off its show with a flurry of tunes from its comeback album, Ixora."Disjointed" burned with the intensity of mid-period U2, but the best moments arrived when Copeland turned down the anthem rock and played up the more delicate drama in its songs with help from a three-piece string section.
Marsh's voice was in fine form, especially whenever it flew into falsetto range. He was a reluctant showman, however, hiding in the shadows of a stage lit only by a handful of light bulbs and glacier-blue lighting effects that flickered here and there.
Despite his aversion to the spotlight, Marsh was clearly thrilled to be basking in the love of his fans once again. "It's crazy to come back after all this time and still see you're here," he said, a small grin clearly visible amid the shadows.
Thor Christensen is a Dallas writer and critic. Email him email@example.com