Anthony GarciaHis debut album came out with a serious asterisk.
“Acres of Diamonds“Contains songs that he’s been tinkering with for quite some time.
“People keep telling me they like these songs… they have stood the test of time,” Garcia said. “I know them well. They had a life of their own. “
The tracks of the 2020 release aren’t easy to categorize, sifting through lush string arrangements and country vocals to a bit of arena rock. He embraces the term “Cinematic Americans” to capture the essence of the album. Think of a traditional “sentence, chorus, bridge” pattern with a “classical influence”, connecting to his rich musical background.
The songs “create an atmosphere, a mood… as opposed to something like a three-minute pop song,” Garcia said.
It’s easy to imagine numbers like “Santa Rosa” or “The Wind” pulling on a Taylor Sheridan TV show. All of the disc’s strings and stirring vocals require close-ups in the “Yellowstone” style.
He calls it “using music as a character,” but he’s happy to let listeners draw pictures inspired by his work.
The Texan draws directly from his roots, even as he once tried to distance himself from them.
“Everybody wants to leave home and explore the world… but the further I go, the more I feel [Texas],” said Garcia, who walked to New York City and South Korea before returning home eventually. “Your heart yearns for something you love.”
The Garcia genre leaps boldly as, for example, Elvis Costello. That’s how he grew up, absorbing everything from Buddy Holly to Willie Nelson. His Lubbock, Texas roots lead him to also sample rockabilly for old country classics. It’s in addition to a passion for classical music, but also a fun addiction.
Using as many musical formats as possible has always been part of his artistic DNA.
“I look at musical genres like a chef looks at different styles of cooking,” he says. “You take from it what’s important to you and bring it back to make your own music.”
Garcia has been playing live music for much of the pandemic, thanks to a mostly down-to-earth Texas approach.
“For six weeks, we were all wearing masks and gloves to pump gas, and then we said, ‘turn this on,’” he recalls. “The old venues said, ‘go out and play. If we get in trouble with the state, we’ll be in trouble. ‘”
“The only places you really see it [now] is the proper Austin,” he added.
The singer/songwriter now lives outside of Austin and he feels creative right at home.
“It’s like New York City, LA or Brooklyn, in the sense that it’s where musicians and creators are drawn to,” he said. “You can go out and listen to great music every night of the week if you want, lots of times for free.”
Defect? “It’s hard to make a living,” he notes, with “underpaid” musicians struggling to pay the bills.
It might explain why the city’s music scene is expanding, “growing in all directions,” he added.
Garcia is currently working on his sequel “Acres”, an album that focuses on Spanish-style guitar. However, he has a little help this time around.
He is currently assembling a home studio to complete that album, allowing him to record “whenever I want”.
That, plus access to one of the nation’s most creatively fertile cities, means that Garcia’s fans will have a lot to look forward to in 2022 and beyond.