Calista Garcia

REVIEW: Calista Garcia “Confession”


CD Art:

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.

Calista Garcia

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.”

Calista Garcia

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 @

Video premiere of “The Coals,” –

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