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Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | SELF

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Rock Soul


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Singer-songwriter Chelsey Cope’s new band is an organic endeavor"

Chelsey Cope’s new band, Elms, is as earthy and native to Oklahoma as the trees that are their namesake. The soulful folk four-piece’s debut EP, Parallel Lines, was recorded at Bell Labs Recording Studio in Norman and is on its way in September. But the band has already given us a tease, with its first single, “Burn,” going live on SoundCloud on July 14.

Compared to Cope’s previous offerings, this new journey is a bold progression into fresh sonic territory, but it’s an easy leap from her earlier style and unmistakably “Chelsey Cope.”

“It’s a pretty natural evolution of her sound. All of us like her music too much to change it too drastically,” bassist Michael Bewley said.

Cope’s honest, passionate, never overprocessed tunes and unique voice have been the hallmarks of her music, and that isn’t going away. Those familiar with Cope’s 2012 EP, A Deeper Root, will recognize her classic songs in Elms’ arsenal, but each old favorite has a new spin thanks to creative input from all members of the Elms brain trust.

“Everyone has their own style and character,” drummer Billy Reid said. “Now that the band feels more democratic than it was in the past, the sound is going to change because our personalities are going to come out more.”

The transition from singer/ songwriter to full-scale band is a long time coming for Cope.

“We think about it as a team,” she said. “Watching so many bands for so long and standing in the audience, I was like, ‘I want to try that.’ After playing by yourself for so many years and seeing what level you can reach with so many musicians coming in, you pretty much have to.”

For the past two years, Cope’s lineup of musicians has been a whirlwind. However, for the past six months, a pretty solid band has been assembling. Reid and Bewley have been playing with her for a long time, and Chavez Soliz added his guitar just a couple of months ago. Soliz has played in local bands since he was in his mid-teens, and Reid and Bewley have storied musical histories as well.

A Tulsa native now based in Oklahoma City, Cope has been singing and writing songs since she was 13, borrowing time on her older sister’s guitar when she could. Cope cut her teeth on the twin influences of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker soundtrack and Tom Waits’ Bone Machine — two CDs her stepdad gave her when she was little. He was a traveler, always coming back from someplace far away and often returning with exotic musical instruments that would then fall into Cope’s hands.

“I’d play with that stuff all the time,” she recalled. “When you’re meant to do something, all you need is your introduction to it.”

It seems Cope is meant to create music, and the advent of Elms might be the spark that lights the powder keg.

“I never felt strong enough as a musician to tour,” she said. “I think now, more than ever, it’s time for all of us.”

Elms has two dates in Texas next month: Aug. 15 at Dan’s Silverleaf in Denton and Aug. 16 at The Blackheart in Austin. But first, the band will play at The Society’s anniversary party Aug. 11. After they return from Texas, Elms will play an album release show Sept. 20 at a soon-to-be-announced location. - Oklahoma Gazette

"Track Debut: Elms - "Burn""

It’s remarkable what a difference two years can make.

I spoke over the phone Sunday with Elms frontwoman Chelsey Cope (who was braving a cold in this summer heat) and, she said she’s been reflecting on her 2012 solo effort “A Deeper Root.” She switched back and forth between “Root” and the “Parallel Lines.” That’s when she noticed something.

“Changing and growing is the key to getting better,” Cope said.
Cope said she’s matured as a musician since the former EP, but it’s safe to say her music has always had a mature slant. It’s pretty heavy but not overbearing. She’s a thinker’s rock star and now she’s teamed up with a band to match the gravity of her subject matter.

You could call “Burn” a show-off track. Cope said it’s the catchiest, most upbeat offering on the EP and highlights the band’s talents. It’s also an example of a song that the band built together. Elms will hit the road on a few touring dates in Texas this year in hopes of a making a serious go with this project.

Kudos to Trent Bell for recording another this local album. Cope estimated physical copies of “Parallel Lines” will be available by September 20. Also, you can catch Elms at the Society’s anniversary party on August 11. - NewsOK

"Oklahoma Band Q&A: Chelsey Cope of Elms"

A longtime acoustic singer-songwriter, Oklahoma City’s Chelsey Cope has spent the last few years making a name for herself. Cope found some minor local success, including a small role in the 2014 film “Rudderless.” Backed by a group of songwriting collaborators and musicians in her newly solidified band Elms, she’s now ready to take on whatever comes next.

Q: So, tell me about the process of becoming “Elms” instead of “Chelsey Cope.” More specifically: After playing solo for so many years, what pushed you into the full-band mindset?

Chelsey Cope: Honestly, it was really decided when we started recording the EP with Trent (Bell) at Bell Labs. We discussed what name we wanted to release it under, and at that point, everyone had added so much of their own taste and personality to the songs that it felt like the right time to make the name change — to recognize the talent it took to make these songs what they are now, as opposed to what they once were.

Q: How did you land on this group after having so many people backing you?

Cope: Michael Bewley (bass) and I played together for the first time two and a half years ago, with a different group of guys. Billy Reid, the drummer, and I have been playing together for the past year and a half. It’s tough finding consistent musicians to play with, but we all kept in touch, and with Billy’s help, we found Chavez Soliz to replace our former guitarist.

Q: You released a solo EP in 2012. What’s changed about you as a performer, writer, collaborator, etc., since then?

Cope: This one is definitely much more complex as far as instrumentation goes. Everyone matures as an artist. It’s the beauty in changing directions and trying new things. You get to see a side of yourself you didn’t know existed. For me, playing with this group of guys has only inspired me to try new things I wouldn’t have tried before. For instance, when I play with the band, I only play electric guitar, but two years ago, I had barely played one at all.
Q: Do you feel the older material still represents you? Does Elms having an EP feel as much “yours” as a solo record?
Cope: A lot of the songs on “A Deeper Root” were just that: deep, honest songs coming straight from the heart of a 20-something-year-old going through struggles with love and struggles with the hard beginning stages of getting your name out there as a new artist. It represents a chapter of my life, so I will always connect with that. Some of the songs with Elms were songs I had written years ago that we kind of pieced back together with a new twist. The guys write all of their own parts for each song, and then we work out the kinks together as a band.

Q: You seem certain that this is your time to really make a go of it. Did you know, earlier on, what you were waiting for to push you over that threshold?

Cope: There was always a hesitation as a solo artist, as far as succeeding and touring went. As much as I wanted to, I knew I needed to wait until I had some professionally recorded material, credentials, etc. I think more than anything, I was just waiting for the right moment. I follow and trust my gut on everything, and back in the day I knew I wasn’t ready.

Q: The Elms EP is coming out in September. What’s next for you?

Cope: I’ve been playing music for a solid 14 years and have only played out of state twice; both times were for SXSW (South by Southwest in Austin, Texas). We have some upcoming Texas shows — our first show to headline in Austin, which feels huge considering we’ve never played there other than the festival. We plan to make as many weekend (or longer) runs as we can and extend our fan base outside of Oklahoma. Of course, getting signed to a label is something we think about, but right now we are just focused on getting our music out there, getting the wheels turning on a full-length album for next year, and continuing to do what we love. - NewsOK


Parallel Lines EP - October 2014



Indie alternative passionate rock band formed in Oklahoma City in March, 2014 when singer songwriter Chelsey Cope formed Elms with Chavez Soliz, Michael Bewley and Billy Reid.  Elms released their first EP,  Parallel Lines, in October 2014 and recently released a new single, Savages, on January 1st 2015.  All releases are available at all major online retailers and to stream on spotify.

Band Members