Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Each and every Friday we offer songs by local artists. Today’s featured selection, chosen by Morning Show Host John Richards, is the self-released single “Dead Man’s Sister” by the Tea Cozies.
As we wrap up the KEXP Spring Membership Drive we’ve had the chance to hear what KEXP means to our listeners and our volunteers who help power KEXP. Today we get to hear from a local artist who donated their new self-released single to KEXP listeners via the Song of the Day podcasts. These podcasts are a great way to check out new music from your favorite artists as well as find new favorite artists recommended by KEXP DJs.
One such artist is Seattle’s Tea Cozies who are a perfect blend of Brit Pop goodness mixed with the wit and swagger of garage rockers around the world. They first hit the scene with their Erik Blood-produced debut album Hot Probs in 2009. Lead by Jessi Reed and Brady Harvey (who have known each other since high school), the band is well-known for their high-energy, high-fun live shows and sweetly addicting songs which often feature oooohs and handclaps. Today’s song is a sneak peak at new material by the group which seems to be incorporating some psychedelic elements into their repertoire. Jessi and crew took a few minutes to share some info about this song and what they hope to get out of their upcoming trip to Austin, TX, for their first SXSW experience.
We’re nearing the end of the KEXP membership drive. What can you tell our listeners about KEXP’s role in your lives?
KEXP is immensely important to us. For one, it’s super supportive of local bands. KEXP has played a huge part in getting our name out there among the thousands of other talented bands in this region. The fact that an unsigned band can get international airplay on this station is pretty incredible. Because of you guys, we have fans in countries we’ve never set foot in and probably can’t find on a map without google. Like, Australia (SIKE. we don’t have fans there.) KEXP is magical, like a fairy... eating a unicorn.
Are you guys working on a new album or were you just getting this song out of your system?
We’re working on material for our next release, which will either be in the form of an EP or an album. We’ve just been writing and recording like crazy... hopefully getting some people excited about the new stuff while we’re down at SXSW. We can’t wait to get back in the studio.
What’s your songwriting process? Is there a primary songwriter or is it pretty collaborative?
Songs originate with either Jessi or Brady. We usually record a demo version on GarageBand, then bring it to the band to work through it as a collective. We write a lot of lyrics on the bus.
What can you tell me about “Dead Man’s Sister?”
(Jessi) -- I wrote this song after watching the movie On the Waterfront for the first time. The lyrics are inspired by that story and I wanted the overall vibe to feel really cold and angular. In contrast, the reverby chorus “oooh ooohs” are kind of the empathy of the song, or the sister from the film. It’s sort of a sad song, but we all come out alright in the end. (... except the dead man.)
What’s the story behind the upcoming video? (also if you could touch on when you think it will be available that would be great too)
We just saw a rough cut today and it’s looking pretty incredible. The concept of the video is rock-n-roll concert + 60s sci-fi b-movie. It was really fun to shoot. The film crew we worked with, Loaded Pictures are incredible and came up with this insane story line. I don’t want to give too much away, but there are some hardcore dance sequences and ray guns involved. The video drops Monday, March 14.
Glad to hear you are heading to SXSW! What are you doing to mentally and physically prepare yourselves for the total insanity that is SXSW (i.e. what are you doing in your “Rocky”-style montage??)
I bought a travel sized thesaurus and purple cowboy boots... and my mom sent us a map of Texas. We also bought sunglasses. We’re making lots of lists, like lists of bands to see, places to check out, taco trucks to find. We’ve started speaking in a southern drawl and drinking whiskey out of boot-shaped glasses. In case we get heckled, we’re preparing some Texas sized retorts. Like, if someone said “don’t mess with texas” we’d say “don’t bash wah-shington.” We might get shot.
We hope not!
The Tea Cozies just played the SXSW Kick-Off Party & Musician’s Bazaar with D. Black, Wild Orchid Children, and State of the Artist and they are ready to head down to Austin for SXSW. For folks heading to Texas this year you can catch them for free at the Lovely Hearts Club showcase on 3/17 at Uncorked Wine Bar or the SXSeattle Party on 3/18. The line-up is incredible and includes Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Fences, Campfire OK, The Physics, The Redwood Plan, and more. More info can be found on their Facebook page.
In the meantime, here they are from last year’s Concerts at the Mural performing “The South Turned Him Sour.”