By: Jeremy Fleischer
3 out of 5 stars
Usually, a band forms, then bandmates are forced into a van to traverse the country. But for The Coteries, the van came first. For two years, three friends from New Jersey spent 11,000 miles in a Volkswagen van together, discovering along the way that they were actually a band. Today, the trio are more settled, having found a new home in Fort Collins, and the van is a bit rusty, but they have released a charming debut EP of folk rock songs that have the road in their heart.
While the playing on this album is solid all around, there are two clear standouts. The first is Emily Parasiliti’s country-blues voice. The honey-syrup tone and emotional grit found in the voice she was clearly born with is often imitated with poor results, but man, she has it. And she’s not afraid to belt it out so comfortably that you might take for granted how remarkable it actually is. Some of the best moments here are when she is leading, and the two fellas are backing up with a chorus. You can see how audiences might respond. And if they don’t respond to the sing-a-long vocals, they will to the stompbox, the second standout. This band uses the low end to create a rhythm it’s impossible not to fall into, clapping, stomping and singing like it’s a Mumford & Sons concert. The band now calls Fort Collins home and will perform at FoCoMX this year; and Americana fans should flock.