After releasing a pair of new songs last year, Oklahoma synth-pop outfit Slow Cozy is ready to make their mark on 2023, starting with an aptly timed new single "Good Talk."
The satiny new track, which arrived today (Feb. 14), is actually more of an anti-love song about poor communication, according to the band. “I was fresh out of a relationship when 'Good Talk' came from me," says singer Tazmen West of the track, which the group began teasing at the start of this year. “[I was] wishing life would just be as easy as laying in bed and watching Netflix with someone you love.”
Ahead of the new song's arrival today, the band spoke with Variance just moments before taking the stage in Tulsa, playing alongside fellow Tulsa act Combsy, as part of the latter's ongoing February residency at the Vanguard.
"We played the Fansub Select Showcase. They're really good people. And some shows with our friends—other bands," says West, speaking with Variance, after the band's soundcheck, at the Hunt Club, a bar next door to Vanguard. "And now this show with Combsy. We're just happy to join them. They're very talented players. We're just happy to be on the bill and play with friends."
The new, Logan Bruhn-produced track, which West calls a "collective effort," as is the case with most of their songwriting, is credited to the singer alongside bandmates Gavin Wendland, Tyler Burke, Jason Bauer and Logan Meldrum, the latter two of whom are seated beside him at Hunt Club.
"On lyrics, we'll usually bounce between Logan and I," says West, pointing to Meldrum. "Sometimes I can barely get the words out, and Logan has this more refined mind, and he can make it sound a lot prettier. And as far as the music, these guys are the masters. Melodies will come to me, but with complicated chords and stuff, Jason and Logan definitely are the masterminds."
Adds Meldrum: "I think with 'Good Talk,' [West] added the meat. And I added the potatoes," he says of the new single, which is out now.
"A lot of times, one of us will write a verse and maybe the chorus, and then the other guy will write the second verse," explains Meldrum. "If one of us gets stumped or whatever. And it's nice because sometimes the second verse is the harder one."
Of the decision to release a song that takes a jab at the complications of love and relationships on Valentine's Day, West says it was certainly intentional.
"The world is full of lovers," he says with a chuckle. "But the world is also full of people who don't quite have that. So why not release a song that's not all about love on a love day? It makes a lot of sense to us. There are a lot of people who won't have a significant other on Valentine's Day, and this song will resonate well."
Of course, the band won't be settling down for too long in the anti-love landscape, as Bauer is quick to point out. "We have plenty more love songs on the way though," noting they have other happy, glossy tracks in their back pocket already.
Bauer says part of the reason some of their material is so "lovey" and upbeat is a reflection of the band's ability to use their music to say what they wouldn't otherwise say in real-life. "Sometimes it's coming from a very specific experience, but you use metaphors, you talk all around it, and sometimes it's easier to share in the form of a song."
For West, he says his songwriting typically comes from a very personal experience but sometimes it morphs into characters in his songs.
As they look to the future, the band seems intent on releasing more music in the coming months. They already have several tracks finished or in the works. But as to whether this new music will come in the form of one-off releases or an album, they haven't yet decided.
"We're putting out music and letting fans listen, hoping more people discover it," says Meldrum. "And that's kind of where we're at for the moment. These songs are still fresh, and we can release them as we finish them, so it helps us navigate our sound without forcing ourselves to get stuck in a certain style of music."
Adds West: "I definitely want to release an album. But right now, we're finding our people. We're building our tribe, this community. And once we're all in it together, hopefully we'll have that full album, front to back, ready to go."
As a band looking for their "people," Slow Cozy says they feel a sense of solidarity with the Tulsa music community, which continues to grow despite in the past being overlooked as music-makers flocked to the brighter skies in Austin or Nashville or Los Angeles.
"Tulsa is a great place to be," says West. "I love the music community here. I think there are so many great musicians here in Oklahoma. And good people. Not just great musicians but great people! So I don't feel that pressure to go anywhere."
Quips Meldrum: "And the internet is everywhere."
"That Sounds OK!" is a new Variance series shining a spotlight on the artists we love—those who are from Oklahoma and those who call it home.