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Correatown

Pleides

(Another Room; US: 20 Sep 2011; UK: import)

As a solo artist, or as half of the folk duo Les Shelleys with Tom Brosseau, Angela Correa has a sweet and arresting voice. It’s got an immediate tunefulness, but there’s bit of shadow to it, this hint in each note that she’s not giving everything away, that there’s a secret in her words. That shadow comes out all the better as she heads her band, Corrreatown. The gauzy layers of dream pop here—from the humming guitar work on “Valparaiso” to the ringing pianos and dramatic strings on “Sunset and Echo”—feels like a natural extension of her voice. Where it blurs beautifully at the edges, this music knits itself to her and expands in every direction. Even a slower number like “La Serena”, where Correa’s voice rises and thins to a papery keen, blooms with sound at every turn. The album may slip into its own dream world a bit in the middle, swaying in its own layers sometimes (on, say, “Shine Right Through”) so that it falls into a lull instead of a compelling dreamscape, but then there’s the jangling rock of “Play” to jolt you back to life. Correa long ago established that she was a singular and striking vocal talent, and with Pleides her band proves itself the most fitting foundation for that voice. Correa is in her element in this dream-pop world, more than she’s ever been, but she’s still not giving away those secrets.

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Matthew Fiander is a music critic for PopMatters and Prefix Magazine. He also writes fiction and his work has appeared in The Yalobusha Review. He received his M.F.A. in Creative Writing from UNC-Greensboro and currently teaches writing and literature at High Point University in High Point, NC. You can follow him on Twitter at @mattfiander.


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