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.