Making and growing and taking my time

Dear friends,

I’ve been hinting at new music and new songs. Hinting in the most hemming and hawing of ways. I’ve spent a lot of the past year writing and making demos of new songs that have been rattling around my head. I’ve spent even more of the year wondering if these are the songs, or if I should keep writing. It feels sometimes like I’m tucking myself into a corner or shying away from the light streaming in through the window. I know I should just throw the curtains wide open, stand in the sunlight, let the songs float out and just be whatever they are. Maybe I will take my own advice.

I’ve also been growing and making something just as magical as music. A baby. That’s right, Correatown has a new resident on the way. Here’s hoping that I finish recording before she arrives. In the meantime, I leave you some studio pics.

I’ve always been one to stand and sing my vocal tracks but this summer with the heat and the new physical world I’m inhabiting I found Sitting and singing to be AWESOME.

I’ve been collaborating with this zany fellow Jonathan Price on a few new songs. His toothsome smile is indeed this awesome, and we do actually have this much fun working together in his Echo Park studio.

At one point during a co-write session this happened. I’m not sure if you can tell or not, but something seriously wild just ooooooooooozed off the guitar fretboard.

If you look in the far bottom corner you’ll notice the grill of a fan that saved my life. Think about the heat waves we’ve been having and my pregnant belly. Now imagine having to flick this baby on and off between takes to cool down. Yup.

 

On my last album Pleiades, we used a Juno 60 like crazy. Needless to say, the grimaces, bleeps and vroooooms the Juno makes remain my favorite melodic pulses and hums. Except for maybe the many Moog synths, or maybe tied with a Moog? I can’t commit at the moment. It’s optimal for the Juno to work when recording, and on this day we had to open her up and fiddle with a wire or two. Vintage gear can sometimes be finicky, but then that’s where all the romance lies.

As a parting gift I give you this very tired, very big belly , very barely smiling shot at the end of a long day recently. I think I wanted to smile, but instead this is what happened to my face. If you look very hard you will see words nestled deep in my eyes that say something like “please get me to my couch” and “this session ruled, where’s dinner?” I have about 6 weeks before baby is due now, so you know I will cut myself some slack!

This is the time, my friends. Seriously.

Cover songs. It’s a funny thing. Listening to a song and then trying to imagine how to make it feel like something you would have written, to make it feel like your own. Otherwise, what’s the point of covering a song? Certainly not to make it sound the same.

I have to say, I’ve got a soft spot for Billy Joel. He’s got a lot of bluster and seems slightly cantankerous, which is a pretty good thing for an artist. You know what you want, right? And he seems pretty authentic which is saying a lot. Authenticity rules, my friends. Don’t let ANYONE tell you otherwise.

So, how did we come to cover the original badass piano man, you might ask? Well, I’ll tell you.

The stars aligned. The sky broke open and inspiration knocked me on my ass. I couldn’t imagine singing his melody in the exact same way he did- so I tweaked it to how I prefer to sing- with some languid, lilting, sighing sadness. Then we stripped it way down to bare bones, because I personally believe any good song should be able to withstand it. Just the melody, just the words. Maybe a hint of adornment, you know like a pair of earrings or a barrette, or a killer pair of boots. Mike came over to my little studio one evening and he chiseled out a lovely melancholic guitar part, and then I built some layers around it.

But what is really the magical bit for me- is that after breaking it all apart and wearing it down to the beginnings… well, the song really started to make sense to me. The lyrics made me feel something. Nostalgia. Something bittersweet. Something forgotten and something remembered. It’s pretty easy to be caught up in the minutiae and stress of our everyday lives. But the secret, I think, is to get lost in those tiny little moments of everyday. Pouring cream in your coffee and reading a magazine across the table from a friend. Making dinner and taking it over to your girlfriends place for a potluck. Walking around the reservoir in the morning and listening to your favorite podcast. Playing with your dog. Because I promise, a few years from now (or MANY years from now), you’ll be looking back and wishing for those moments again.

“THIS IS THE TIME TO REMEMBER BECAUSE IT WILL NOT LAST FOREVER”

You can listen on SOUNDCLOUD

And you can BUY our little homage to the piano man on BANDCAMP

If you found us because of The Carrie Dairies, well HELLS YEAH. How awesome is that?

Love,
correatown

beginnings and more beginnings

I went to a reading last night and had my mind teased and prodded in the best way.

It had already been a rather intense furrowing of the brow kind of day. The morning was spent deep in thought running multiple lines of words and melody through my head at the same time. I’ve finally realized I’m most productive if I dive into the deep end with held breath, resurfacing only in fits and bursts for a quick sharp gasp of air. Gulping, I relish the descent back into the waters, unseen and silent for another week.

Feeling less like a hermit than in years past, I just recognize my need for solitude and silence when I’m writing. A room of my own, as Virginia Wolfe would say. It feels slightly antisocial but it’s a requirement for good work, for me at least. Actually, when staying at a friends in London last week for a songwriting workshop, I read an intriguing book, Quiet by Susan Cain that sat on the nightstand by my bed. It’s not an unusual requirement according to her. It’s just unpopular in western culture, or American culture. Anyhow, that’s neither here nor there, but if you’re remotely curious about Introverts + Extroverts, get yourself to a bookshop. Quick.

I almost couldn’t make it out. I was worried about interrupting my flow. I shouldn’t have been.

My big night out and away from my little studio was a glorious night of mind fireworks. A friend of mine, Robert Krut, has a new collection of poems out called This Is The Ocean and he read several pieces from his wonderfully evocative poetry. Bold and visual images swirled into delicate and vulnerable whispers. His poems leave you feeling privy to the words exchanged by lovers, and the promises sung to children by parents. It’s beautiful stuff. There were two other writers that read under the glowing bistro lights and in particular Wendy C. Ortiz‘s writing really caught my ear. She’s got a beautiful way of stringing words together, swirling beads spinning on a thin metal chain.

If you are a lover of words to linger over and slip deeply into, these two are your kind of poets. I’m currently obsessed with the poem ADMISSION IS A PROMISE, THE EXIT IS A LIE but I’ll leave you with these three lovely pieces.

Enjoy
xo
a

HOLD ME, THE WALLS ARE FALLING

THE OCEAN

THE FORTUNE TELLER

You are your own sherpa

What a whirlwind of travel, shows, snow, sleet, delicious meals, good company, and new friends we experienced just a couple short months ago in March and April when Rob and I traveled through Europe and the UK on our “We Go Further” tour. The name of the tour makes me laugh just a bit (that good kind of chuckle associated with memory) because it nearly invokes the idea of a long trek in the hills or a truck montage driving through the desert for a Jeep commercial. Our dear friend David in Switzerland, who helped book some of our most memorable shows suggested it and even made our tour poster, so I thought “hells yeah, let’s just let go a wee bit of all your control issues Angie” and it felt rather nice.

In fact, independent touring without serious tour support is rather the same as a long trek. You’re lugging all your gear and luggage on your backs and shoulders whilst traveling by train, plane, and subway. You are your own sherpa. It’s exhausting. But through it all you wear that sheen of sweat from a hard won journey as a badge of pride. Yeah, I just carried 100 pounds through sleet and snow to get here to sing for you. Uh huh. Thanks for coming to the show y’all- and you fucking mean it. We bought a lot of tiger balm for our shoulders after shows. We drank a lot of coffee. We ate a lot of baguette sandwiches on 10am trains.

I think I could write pages and pages about tour- but I won’t. There were so many moments, so many people that made our tour magical. Our wonderful agents in Germany Jan + Ben at Scorpio, the ever lovely Piney Gir and her guitarist Garo who sang and played with us in London, our ebullient label manager Heather who fed us well more than once, the delicious curry our promoter made us in Hamburg, the days off in Paris wandering around, so many new friends… but for the moment I’ll leave you with some pictures. Your imagination can take it from there.
xx
a