Los Angeles-based Angela Correa, aka Correatown, describes her music as a boozy bourbon pecan pie. Debut album, Spark. Burn. Fade, was certainly a sweet, leisurely, folk-pop treat that put us in mind of raindrops on mittens and roses on kittens (or something). Anyway, it was one of our favourite things, so with new album, Pleiades, due out in September, we decided to grab a spoon and dig right in….
Hello, please introduce yourself and your music to the uninitiated.
Hola. I’m Correatown. I’m Angela Correa. She is me, I am she. I just went for a trip to Mexico across the Yucatan and when people asked what I did for a job, I answered “Soy musica” to which everyone gave me a sweet yet puzzled look. Only the day before leaving did someone explain that I wasn’t saying “I’m a musician” for two weeks, rather I was saying “I AM music.” So there you go, that’s Correatown. If my music were dessert it would be boozy bourbon pecan pie. If my music were a place it would be California. If my music were a blanket, it would be a very soft and cozy throw. If my music were a body of water, it would be a deep and still cerulean lake nestled up in the craters of mountain peaks.
Tell us a bit about your latest release?
Pleiades is an album that has its own story to tell. I always tend to take the winding road, and this album was no different. I wrote and recorded the album over the course of 2 years, and it feels woven together in a loose amalgam of sounds and melodies I was really exploring at the time. I was thrilled to be working with my producer Dan Long. He mixed my last album and I knew that he gravitated towards the darker and more gritty sounds I was imagining for Pleiades. I feel like my melodies can be almost too ‘pretty’ in an ethereal, dreamy, layered harmonies sort of way, and I wanted to contextualize that with some brooding moodiness. I really wanted to add some weight and growling snarls in there somehow. A little off-kilter woozy pitch-bending, to make you sway and swoon all at once
What was your best ever gig?
Oh my. There have been so many truly special shows I’ve been lucky enough to play. I WILL say that a magical and awesome show has EVERYTHING to do with the audience. If they are right there with you – listening, interested, on your side, in a good place… well, it’s bound to feel like a pretty stellar night whether you are in a club venue with lights and smoke-machines or someone’s living room doing a house concert.
What’s the worst thing about being a musician?
I think having to always be thinking and planning 9 to 12 months in advance and setting deadlines for creativity (which often works in its own timeline) – those are two huge challenges for me. I’m always working on being more present, in the moment, you know? But if you want to release anything with a plan, tour, record with other folks in a particular studio – it all has to be planned out so far in advance to make it really worth all the cost and effort of following through. The whole living for the horizon, what’s in the distance, has always been my challenge and curse. I used to call it horizon sickness.
And then there’s the uncertainty of what comes next. But I imagine that’s also the secret draw. Every day is changing, you can direct your own path…I get to spend my days making music right now. I am constantly reminding myself to be grateful and realize how fortunate I am to be following my heart into a profession that seemed only a crazy daydream years ago.
What inspires you?
Ah, such a nice question. So many things really. The view from my kitchen table and the quiet of the canyon where I live…My friends inspire me. There is so much beauty and love in the world – I wish we could spend more time focusing on what is good in our world and maybe transform it that way.
Going out into the world and observing everyone on their way to somewhere…. It’s so fascinating to imagine what everyone’s inner dialogue is going on about and I’m always wondering what everyone is saying to themselves. Good stories in books and movies – ‘La Serena’ on Pleiades was definitely inspired by watching Spirit of The Beehive, a Spanish film from the 1970’s, coupled with some memories from my travels through Chile during grad school. I’m really into stories and characters I guess.
If you won a billion pounds what would you do with it?
Well I hope I would do something nice and charitable with at least a good chunk of it, supporting Charity: Water to get safe clean water to everyone. I also really like KIVA.org, a wonderful site that funds micro-loans for people around the world. I would absolutely sort out my family’s needs – pay off my parents’ house and furnish them with a great retirement, create a college-trust fund for my sister’s kiddos.
And for myself- I would probably finally be able to buy a house and build out a killer recording studio, pay off all my student loans, and rent a house on the ocean somewhere tropical and bring all my friends on a trip.
Holy crapballs! A billion pounds is more money than any one person should ever need or use, right?!
Which of your songs is your favourite and why?
Oh my. That’s a tough one. I think I like the songs where I remind myself about some lesson or I answer some question I’ve been puzzling over… On this album, I would say ‘Everything, All At Once’ is a favourite because it feels really good inside when I sing it. I think I was having a hard time figuring out how to make sense of growing up, getting older, wanting things for yourself and your life, and just learning how to be ok in both, your own skin and within your own life circumstances. I had no idea at the time, but I was giving myself an answer.
What are you plans for the future?
Well, releasing Pleiades with Highline Records and touring the UK/Europe in September and the USA in October is in the forefront of my mind right now. I’ve been playing with a band in Los Angeles for a while, so I’m excited to spend the next few months in my rehearsal space, re-imagining the songs in a way that I can play them solo for tour. I’m already thinking about following up Pleiades with an album or EP – that’s the whole horizon thing I was talking about! I’m also really interested in making some new videos for songs off Pleiades.
Finally, we’re always looking to expand our musical horizons. Do you have any recommendations of bands or artists we should be looking out for?
Oh there are so many great artists making music now. It’s a candy shop for music lovers these days, right? My good friend Leslie Stevens has the most heartbreakingly lovely voice and is a stunning songwriter. We always daydream of writing and singing together, but we’re both so busy with our own projects it hasn’t happened yet.
There’s a guy who has the most beautiful voice named Casey Trela who has a band called Hi Ho Silver Oh. They just released a new record called Big Rocks, and they remind me of My Morning Jacket and Mason Jennings, all wrapped in a fuzzy warm blanket of good sounds.
My old pal and Les Shelley’s bandmate Tom Brosseau has been doing some wonderful singing with John C. Reilly and they have some songs out on 7 inch through Third Man Records. I’ve always loved singing with TB, but hearing him sing with John C. is a real treat… I highly recommend that anyone who loves old folks and Everly Brothers style harmonies check it out.
Check out Correatown’s Kickstart appeal video, set to beautiful new song ‘Further’.