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Friday, June 10, 2011 - Page updated at 07:01 p.m.
Tea Cozies play Chop Suey Friday
By Paul Pearson
Special to The Seattle Times
The Tea Cozies can't get used to the sheer number and diversity of jackets Seattle locals own and wear.
"The amount of jackets out here is just crazy!" exclaims Jessi Reed, guitarist and singer in the local indie-rock band, which relocated from Ft. Collins, Colo. The four-piece group — two frontwomen and a male rhythm section — plays Chop Suey Friday. They've worked through their awe over Seattle's multicoat strategy to become one of the city's most-followed unsigned bands and a KEXP favorite.
Drawing from a mutual love of '90s Britpop — they cite Elastica, Blur and Supergrass as prime inspirations — the Cozies filter chiming pop melodies and left-hook guitar riffs through a booming wall of '60s garage-rock rhythms and echo.
Reed and fellow guitarist-singer Brady Harvey met in high school. Reed came to Seattle in 2004; Harvey followed the next year.
"A lot of bands weren't even stopping in Denver," Reed says.
The Cozies began their Seattle career in earnest with drummer Kelly Viergutz — a fellow Colorado transplant — and bassist Jeff Anderson. A self-titled EP and a 2009 album, "Hot Probs," established their distinctive sound.
With new drummer Garrett Croxon, formerly of Fleet Foxes, the first half of 2011 already has been eventful. The Cozies played four sets at Austin's South By Southwest conference in March and released two dark, resounding songs, "Dead Man's Sister" and "Cosmic Osmo," on Record Store Day in April.
"These songs are like they were written in a cave — a little more introspective," Reed says.
Nationally, the Tea Cozies might be most recognized from an appearance in an episode of "$5 Cover: Seattle," the MTV-backed Web series about the music scene directed by local acclaimed filmmaker Lynn Shelton.
The Tea Cozies' vignette, shot at local store American Music, spoofs the male-dominated world of rock. When the band's fictitious road manager, a man, picks up supplies, a fellow customer, also a man, mistakenly thinks the manager is the musician and Reed and Harvey are his groupies.
"Lynn tweaked a story that happened to us," Harvey explains. "Sometimes when a woman goes into music stores with a guy, they'll immediately help the guy. It does happen. Not necessarily at American Music."
Paul Pearson blogs at http://paul-pearson.blogspot.com
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