Copeland was formed by pianist, guitarist, and singer Aaron Marsh, and bassist and backing vocalist James Likeness. The two longtime friends both called Lakeland, Florida home, and began working on material together in 2001. After recruiting lead guitarist Bryan Laurenson, rhythm guitarist Thomas Blair, and drummer Rusty Fuller, the first lineup of Copeland was complete, named for the celebrated American composxer Aaron Copland. Copeland soon cut a split EP with the band Pacifico, released in 2001, though Blair would be out of the band by the end of the year. As the group's popularity grew, a number of fans and journalists described Copeland as a Christian rock band, given the spiritual themes of some of their songs. However, principal songwriter Marsh rejected the tag, telling one reporter that while some of the group's members were devout Christians, "We have no agenda in our band other than art." Jonathan Bucklew replaced Fuller in 2006. The band disbanded in 2009 but reunited in 2014 and released their sixth studio album, Blushing, in 2019.