Going all in on a music career is a frightening proposition, especially if that includes relocating to New York City, but that didn’t stop Tracy Reed from packing up after college and heading east to make a name for herself.
Once there, she cast aside some of her more latent pop tendencies in favor of quieter, more complex “chamber pop,” and will be returning for two shows in Oklahoma with her new group, TrEas.
“We started calling it ‘chamber pop’ because we have a cello player, though we are not touring with him, because we couldn’t afford to bring him,” she said with a chuckle.
Reed didn’t exactly coin the term; it has also been affixed to fellow pensive musicians with classical leanings, such as Belle & Sebastian. A sampling of tracks off TrEas’ MySpace page demonstrates that the singer wasn’t far off the mark when lumping her band in with the likes of M. Ward and The Decemberists.
“We don’t play the kind of music that you get wasted to,” she said. “We play the kind of music that pulls you in emotionally.”
Local session drummer Todd Plunkett may sit in with the group when it swings through the state. Plunkett played with Reed in a post-alternative band named Gloss for two years before Reed left for New York. When TrEas hits Oklahoma, Plunkett will be playing the drum parts initially laid down by Aaron Comess, former drummer of Spin Doctors, who produced the band’s debut EP. There is a chance TrEas might pick up another drummer along the way, so Plunkett said he’s staying limber if the phone rings.
“I’ve also been keeping their songs in the iPod in case I need to jump behind the drums for the show,” he said. “Stepping in for a band that I haven’t had much time to rehearse with, that seems to be the story of my life.”
Reed is hopeful that the fans she left in Oklahoma will be just as accepting of her new sonic approach.
“I played in pop and pop-rock bands while in Oklahoma, but never in a band like this,” she said. “I really hope the show develops more into a listening-room experience with crowds that are there to hear good music, that want to be captivated.”
TrEas performs 8 p.m. Friday at the 51st Street Speakeasy, 1114 N.W. 51st, and 8 p.m. Tuesday at The Deli, 309 White in Norman.”Charles Martin