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Strata Florida

Made of Stars

(Saint Marie; US: 25 Mar 2014; UK: 31 Mar 2014)

Breathy Shoegaze Brings the Noise

Strata Florida is a project from former Swallow frontwoman Louise Trehy. Equal parts dreamy shoegaze vocals, mid-tempo rhythms and swirling, distorted guitar sounds, Starta Florida offers up a compelling summertime goulash: opening track “By the Way” offers lush, dreamy pop backed by some muscular guitars and enough forward momentum to carry the listener irresistibly away.


The best tracks here follow the same formula: “Au Naturel” with its chugging guitars and sweet melody, “Run” and “Made of Stars” with their layers of phase-shifting guitars. Not every tune is a winner, and the back half of the album loses momentum, particularly as tempos remain in the range of pleasantly jogging along without breaking a serious sweat. There’s plenty here to like, though, and Trehy’s half-whispered vocals are compelling in their admittedly limited range.

Rating:

DAVID MAINE is a novelist and essayist. His books include The Preservationist (2004), Fallen (2005), The Book of Samson (2006), Monster, 1959 (2008) and An Age of Madness (2012). He has contributed to The Washington Post, Publishers Weekly, Esquire.com and NPR.com, among other outlets. He is a lifelong music obsessive whose interests range from rock to folk to hip-hop to international to blues. He currently lives in western Massachusetts, where he works in human services. Catch up with his blog, The Party Never Stops, at davidmaine.blogspot.com, or become his buddy on Facebook (or Twitter or Google+ or whatever you prefer) to keep up with reviews and other developments.


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