As Los Angeles-based singer Angela Correa makes her way along the California coast to San Luis Obispo she is marking the start of a series of dates that will keep her on the road for five weeks. Despite filling SoCal venues with her gorgeously languid voice for a considerable period of time now, this is the first real motion Correa has made to present her music to the world while distraction-free. And it seems like now, more than ever, the time is right for such an undertaking.
With a new album, Correatown, completed and awaiting release, Correa is now poised to present a three-songs EP, which will be made available digitally, and a tour in its honor. The next few weeks with see Correa traveling through Northern California, Nevada, Utah, and Arizona, before finally returning to Southern California for a stop at SOhO on Tuesaday, January 29.
“I spent the last year making this album, and I decided to put out this EP and play some shows to support it,” reasoned Correa during a recent phone call from the road. “And I have always wanted to go out on tour. I have been working a day job for the past few years, which has made touring, other than on weekends, much more difficult. So now that I’m devoting all of my time to music, it’s pretty awesome to be able to take five weeks and go traveling and do whatever I want to do.”
The last time Correa played Santa Barbara was last May, when she joined forces with Devon Sproule and Victoria Williams for an enchanting evening of music in the Presidio Chapel. Even though her visits to town might not be as frequent as they once were, Santa Barbara has always been featured prominently on Correa’s tour itineraries. Having first ventured through town when she was playing in support of Tom Brosseau – and alongside him in the duo, Les Shellys – Correa has performed everywhere from bars to chapels.
“Back then, I had a lot more flexibility when it came to my music than I’ve had in the last few years,” offered Correa. “I was still technically working on my Masters thesis at that time, so Tom and I could jump in the car and head off for some shows. But, for the past few years, I have unfortunately felt the pinch of needing to work more and that has made it a little more difficult to play as many shows as I might have wanted. And that’s the reason for getting out now.“
While such commitments might not have allowed Correa the freedom to wander as freely as she may have wished to in the live arena, but they didn’t hinder her collaborative or recorded undertakings. Along with the aforementioned Les Shellys project, the past few years have also found Correa working with Angie Hart o(f Frente! and Splendid fame), along with Joanie Mendenhall (from Matt Curreri and the Exfriends and Joanie + Secretaries) under the Low Standards moniker. Correa sees the opportunity of collaborating as not only a way to color her musical career, but a way to expand it as well.
“I definitely love working with different people and doing different projects,” explained Correa. “For this new solo album, I definitely wanted to explore all the different textures and sounds that I have always heard in my music, but have never really been able to capture. I worked with Raymond Richards at his studio and he encouraged me to have Brian Whelan and Rob McCorkindale flesh out the songs a little more and give them more of a rock sound.”
For Correa, the production of the new album has been a completely different experience compared to past recorded endeavors. While her first album was made with nothing other than Correa, her guitar, and a single microphone, all recorded rather simply onto a minidisk, for this undertaking she was determined to give the songs the instrumentation and production they so richly demanded and deserved. And the end result is one of the most diverse and bewitching collections of songs Correa has created thus far.
“I was just really excited to finally be in a studio where there was all this amazing gear,” Correa enthused. “And I also had the time to explore all the ideas that I had finally put [to paper]. I played vibraphone on songs, along with mini korg and keyboards. I really had fun fleshing out the ideas that had always been there, but that hadn’t had the opportunity to come out previously. I just kept recording until the songs were finished. There was no timeline either.”
Despite having made considerable connections in the music industry over the past several years, Correa is still very much a musical machine unto herself. By not having a manager or booking agent, she not only administers everything from the recording of her music to the presentation and design of it, but she also books her own shows and plans her own tours.
“It’s awesome to finally be realizing what I have been working toward for so long,” offered Correa. “This is what I daydreamed about all last year while I was in the studio making the album. This is now the fun part. I love being out on the road and playing shows and meeting new people. I’m also enjoying the chance to be driving and thinking, and even to be working on some new songs in my head along the way.”