Calista Garcia – Confession
The 22-year-old Virginia native’s 8-track is basically folk-pop rock showcased in an expressive mature style. Tunes are vulnerable, challenging but always sensitive. They touch upon the typical in the unrequited love of “The Way I Love You,” — a song idea that never sours for any generation While that one’s bittersweet it’s a rite of passage in all young people’s lives. Heartbreak is inevitable & time does heal all wounds.
The music on the 36-minute Confession (Drops May 26–Independent) delivers with Latin flavored melodies, blues, roots & lots of pop. It has its introspection, lyricism, nostalgia & it’s distinctive. Nothing new or intense is explored. Calista does weave a stylistic charm through each tune with finesse. There’s no poverty of ideas in this collection.
Produced by Grammy-winning producer Jim Scott the songs are allegedly 70s singer-songwriter style but there’s far more 60s fluidity. There’s small evidence of influences from Paul Simon, Joni Mitchell & Tom Petty — but it takes time to really shape a vivid style of one’s own within that framework.
Melodically, songs like “Can’t Give Myself Away,” & “The Way I Love You,” is far closer in tradition to 60s female pop singers similar to the assertive Lesley Gore (“That’s The Way Boys Are,”) & Ms. Garcia would be in good company. Gore was a preeminent performer of the era (19 hits on Billboard) & passed away (in 2015) with a late-career (more mature vocal tone) hit in 2005 featured on CSI.
Artists such as songwriters, novelists & painters usually draw upon their own imperfections, frustrations, suffering, or happiness. Not all suffer but many have either artistically struggle with a lack of creative motivation or inspiration & some more seriously psychologically. The blues & even severe blues (which Calista doesn’t have) may play a role in being applied to their art. To a degree novelist Virginia Woolf & poet Anne Sexton did this.
Calista has had disappointments; young people have those, but she seems to have turned them over to her creative spirit. Listeners her own age may turn toward her music for guidance. That’s a responsibility.
On “The Coals,” Calista has an enticing Bonnie Raitt intonation to her delivery & her high notes add honey. The band plays with weight & Calista manages to add a bluesy perspective. This isn’t pop music – the weave is thicker. Calista has a good foundation. It takes her up to the final cut. The mature soulful, bluesy & smoking “Moments.”
Highlights – “The Coals,” “Can’t Give Myself Away,” “The Way I Love You,” “Kalamazoo,” “Sandcastles (Wash Away)” & “Moments.”
Musicians – Calista (guitar/piano/ukelele/bass/mandolin & harmonica), Doug Pettibone (lead guitar), David Garza (organ), Sebastian Steinberg (bass), Jimmy Paxson (drums) & Jim Scott (percussion),
Color image courtesy of Henry Yuliano. Color image with flowers in hair by Kirill Bykanov. CD cover image courtesy of Rich Salazar. CD @ https://www.calistagarcia.com/
Video premiere of “The Coals,” – https://americanahighways.org/2022/10/11/song-premiere-calista-garcia-the-coals/
Show review: Show Review: Dan Navarro at Jammin Java August 19