interview: angela correa of correatown

so, after being charmed by correatown’s fabulous EP etch the line, i got the chance to ask lead singer angela correa some questions about the band, her music, and the very awesome blue record they released.

have you met heather: correatown, obviously, is a take on your last name. but is there a story behind the actual genesis of “correatown?”

angela correa: The genesis of “correatown” the name is pretty silly, in that my friends and I used to add “town” and “city” onto the ends of words. Are you happy-towns? What’s going on with snark-city over there? So it just became a funny nick name- Correatown, and when I was ready to form a band with some friends it sort of worked as a band name.

hymh: many listeners may be surprised to learn that correatown is more than just you – that the band actually has five members (rob poynter, mike corwin, jenni tarma, and joanie mendenhall round out the group). how does the group dynamic work?

angela: We’re usually a four piece with an ever changing *guest* as the fifth member. Joanie Mendenhall and I have collaborated a lot in the past, so it’s always easy for her to jump in and play/sing. Everyone in the band plays in different musical projects – for Correatown, I usually bring songs or recordings, and then we suss them out for our live performance. It’s always the best scenario when we’re able to record a song start to finish together but sometimes I’ll have an idea and just work it all out in the studio, then we adapt it for our live shows. Playing with Rob, Mike and Jenni is pretty dreamy- they’re all really talented musicians that bring lots of ideas to the group.

hymh: what led you to becoming a musician?

angela: I’ve always had music in my life. But it wasn’t until college that it occurred to me that I could try and make music as what I did for a living. I never really had any examples of artists or musicians that I knew in my life. I met Gregory Page, a gifted musician and songwriter in San Diego- and he really inspired me to try playing music for real.

hymh: do you tend to draw from personal experience when writing your songs? or do ideas just come to you? what is your writing process like?

angela: I think I’m influenced by what’s going on around me, including in my own life. Sometimes I write from personal experience but most often it’s a mĂ©lange of memory, observation, and other people’s stories. I think of songwriting as a filter for what I’m thinking about, and sometimes I find that a year after I write a song I can go back and pinpoint what was going on at the time in my life or with a situation.

As far as process goes, I often have melodies and music come first, and then I have to sit down and work out what the song is about. I love when it magically comes all at once… usually picking up an instrument and playing for a few hours without any expectation of a song coming from it makes that happen.

hymh: your latest EP, etch the line, is really a very lovely listen (and those blue albums are simply divine looking!). what’s the story behind it?

angela: Thank you! I wanted to pull a few of the songs together that exemplify all the facets of our upcoming album with some remixes and alternate versions of songs- and anything on colored vinyl sort of makes me swoon. We’d been working on making and now releasing the album for so long I thought it would be cool to have a really special way to present the music, so 10-inch vinyl made sense to me.

hymh: you recently fundraised for your upcoming album, pleiades, and successfully passed your initial goal. what was that experience like?

angela: Fundraising for “Pleiades” was a really beautiful experience. I wasn’t sure what to expect, and it’s humbling to ask for help- Jenni and I spent a lot of time making the stop motion video- because we wanted it to reflect what we put into the music. The outpouring of support and encouragement was really inspiring. I’m so grateful to every person who contributed and to those who told their friends and shared our project, that’s just as huge. It’s sort of the way we find out about new things now, I think- community and sharing.

We have a TON of rewards to make and put together, in addition to just sending the album to everyone once it gets in from being pressed… but I love being able to make and send stuff personally to people that became a part of releasing the album in September with us. Pretty amazing.

hymh: many of the perks you offered people who donated to your project were homemade crafts. beyond music, what are some of your interests?

angela: I love to cook and bake. I’m a jack-of-all-trades really… I love to screen-print, sew, take photos, just incorporate art into life in all ways possible really. I’m hoping to start canning homemade pickles this Fall- carrots, okra, grapes, onions. I’ve also been on a bender reading about The Tudors and the lines of succession- it’s fascinating to me.

All of us in the band are either into food or coffee or crafting. Jenni is a rad seamstress- she regularly sews dresses or gifts for people. Mike is a really talented woodworker – he’s starting to make furniture for people. Rob is a great writer- and has a script in production.

hymh: what can listeners expect from pleiades? any hints about themes?

angela: For me the album is big hazy textured rumination on growing up, feeling like a part of something and looking inward all at once. Trying to figure out how you fit into the puzzle. I purposefully wanted it to feel inclusive at the same time- writing about “we” just as much as “I”. It’s not a love album by any means, although most people tend to assume that’s what I’m always writing about.

hymh: any plans to tour this year?

angela: We’re hoping to tour in the Fall to support the album… but I’ve found it a bit difficult over the past year to manage the costs of touring with a band (vs. solo). It’s definitely on our *wish list* and we’re always looking for a good support slot. I’d honestly be really into a house concert tour… I find those types of shows to be the most rewarding in every way. Intimate, fun, authentic plus you really get to meet people and get to know them, so when you go back you’re visiting friends. I love that part of touring.

thanks, angela!

have a listen to shine right through, one of my favorites of off etch the line:

Shine Right Through by Correatown

plus, here’s further, which is way too easy to put on repeat:

(mp3) further by correatown

racing tides isn’t on either etch the line or pleiades, but it’s such a summer song, so go ahead and let yourself wish you were at the beach:

buy etch the line HERE (c’mon now. you can’t tell me you don’t want that pretty blue piece of vinyl). pleiades will be released on september 20.

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