For several years, COEDS were the talk of the town. The band, which is led by Anna Chandler and Phillip Reynolds, released a number of EPs and toured regularly before recording their full-length debut Thrill Me! for New Granada Records in 2016.
Following that album, the band began to wind down and focus on other projects. They still play occasionally, and will take the stage once more for a show at The Jinx on March 21 alongside DieAlps! and R-Dent, before hunkering down to finish their first new release in several years.
Ahead of their show at The Jinx, we talked to Chandler about the beginnings of the band, making Thrill Me!, and what the music means to her.
When was the last time y’all played together?
Chandler: Good trivia! [laughs]. I want to say it was Rock & Roll Prom - something at The Jinx, I think. Maybe like six or eight months. It's been a minute!
How did the band start?
Phil and I originally met while we were both playing accordion [laughs]. We got to know each other and both had similar tastes. He's played in a bunch of different bands and has kind of a wild resume, but I was mainly doing the folk music thing and was playing with Lovely Locks at the time. We just wanted to do a fun band. I was kind of getting back into guitar at the time, after playing accordion and a bunch of oddball, folky instruments.
We wanted to write some kind of Buddy Holly-inspired songs and Ramones-inspired songs. Our touchstones really were The Ramones, 60s girl groups, Buddy Holly, The Cramps, that sort of thing.
So we started writing some material like that, and Donald and Jeremiah were just the best rhythm section in Savannah. They have so much energy and we knew we wanted a high energy show.
We reached out to them and it clicked, and started playing from there. We released an EP pretty much right off the bat, and went from there.
When it was time to do the full-length, did you sit down and decide it was time to make a record? Tell me a bit about that decision and the process of it all.
It was a long recording process, because Donald had a studio in his house so we just took our time with it. We were playing shows and meeting folks, and kind of seeing what we wanted to do with it.
We always loved going down to Tampa, and loved what New Granada was putting out. There were a lot of great women on the label, it was indie by the books, and they’d been around for a while.
We reached out to see what they thought and they were into it!
Were the songs already in progress, or did you sit down and decide you were going to make a record?
I think everything was already there. A lot of times your first album is a compilation of your first batch of songs, and it’s not necessarily something you sit down and write start to finish.
The song “Push,” which we used as the first single, I think was written during the recording process. It fit right in with everything. But most of them were songs that we’d been playing for a couple of years at the time.
You mentioned that you’re writing again. Is there another COEDS record in the pipeline?
Yeah, that’s the plan. We’re just kind of getting our ducks in a row. Most of our set at The Jinx is going to be new. We’ve been working on [the record] very slowly.
Donald lives in Atlanta, and we’ll go visit him and record in his basement. We’ve done it so many times that I kind of almost forgot about it, and then realized, “Oh my god, we almost have a full record.”
We’ve got enough material for an album, and I think we’re just going to start playing together again and putting together the set to see how everything fits together.
You’ve been in a lot of bands over the years that span different genres. What do you get the most out of being in COEDS that you don’t get from the other projects? What about this band fulfills you musically?
I think it’s transformed for me. This band was a real milestone for me in terms of singing out and being loud. It opened a lot of doors for me and opened me up a lot musically.
Doing more folk stuff, I was always terrified of doing anything unoriginal. When we started writing for this band, Phil was very helpful with that.
Over the years, there’s just been a chemistry with the bandmates. We have so much fun playing together, in a way that allows me to let loose a bit differently than I do with other projects.