PopMatters is moving to WordPress. We will publish a few essays daily while we develop the new site. We hope the beta will be up sometime late next week.
Music

Anthony Garcia Paints a Cinematic Americana Landscape on "The Wind" (premiere)

Photo: Keri Smith

Inspired by Townes Van Zandt and Bach, Texas' Anthony Garcia strikes a captivating line between Americana and classical on "The Wind".

Anthony Garcia meets at the crossroads of Hayes Carll and George Winston. The Texas artist strikes gold as a purveyor of "cinematic Americana", a bend on the roots genre that often delves into pseudo-orchestral breaks. An appreciator of classical string and piano music, Garcia bears influence from Bach as much as Townes Van Zandt. Lyrical and informed, his music strikes a captivating balance between folk-rock and classical persuasions that makes for something truly idiosyncratic.

Much of Garcia's upcoming album, Acres of Diamonds, is inspired by his hometown of Lubbock. Take "The Wind", which Garcia recalls was inspired by winter winds blowing through Lubbock's plains. "This song was written while living in my hometown of Lubbock, Texas," Garcia recalls. "Lubbock is a city in West Texas surrounded by vast plains and cotton fields. There is also a lot of temperamental weather, including tornadoes and a lot of wind. I think that might have been the literal inspiration. The song itself is one of those songs that was just completed during my drive home from my job in Levelland back to Lubbock (about a 20-minute drive). When I got home, I made a scratch recording, and that was that. I remember it being during a winter month of the year, so that might be the reason for a wintry-type feel to the song and aesthetic.

"It feels like I was feeling ready to leave Lubbock and explore the world again. I had been living in New York City and Europe previously and was in Lubbock in a brief life re-adjustment phase. I think I was getting the wanderlust again and was ready to get out and have a new adventure. The phase that followed ended up being a four-year period living in South Korea."

"The Wind" ensnares this feeling of wanderlust into song with its forward-driving melodies, centered on painting a progressively more detailed landscape with its lively and evocative instrumentation. Its last two minutes run into pure, beauteous instrumentation, shifting gears to focus on Garcia's talent as a composer. The mood that Garcia captures in his classically-inclined performance is magical. As a composer, Garcia reflects, "This song certainly fits into the cinematic/orchestral/introspective feel of the album. The impromptu strings and the piano are a theme throughout the album."

Furthermore, he adds, "This particular song came to me with both lyrics and music at once. It's one of those songs that I don't really remember writing (there are plenty of songs do I remember writing very well as the process can be laborious for me), and it is very seldom that this happens for me. Lyrics and music usually come to me independently of one another. There's never a real pattern. But I'd say more often than not, the music comes first. I don't have a set process or stroke of inspiration. I generally constantly have tidbits of music rolling around in my head."

When asked about his most significant influences, Garcia says, "I'd say certainly the genre of rock 'n' roll, and the genre of classical music (i.e. music before electricity was invented that people wrote out by hand) are my primary musical influences. In my music, both of these worlds are tied together by the art of the "song" (brought to us by the great writers beginning with the folk tradition through present-day Americana). Of these genres, I will give an example of each: Bach (where I'd argue that Western music as we know it began), Jimi Hendrix, and Townes van Zandt.

"I am painting with very broad strokes here, but if forced to choose one representative from each genre, these are the ones I'd say represent the pinnacle of their respective art form. These are three artists who I have sought to emulate at one point or another in my life and my endeavor to grow artistically. Cinema/drama/storytelling through musical imagery (not necessarily words) is also important in my music. I believe that the music alone can always tell a story, the way it does in classical or other instrumental music.

"Finally, a genre that holds an important place in my heart is what we call electronica, specifically downtempo, music. I think this genre has leveled the playing field for unbridled musical creativity, lack of musical training, and even the inability to play a traditional musical instrument is no longer an obstacle. Technology, like computers and other non-traditional mediums, are musical instruments and require as much skill as traditional musical instruments. This genre results in some truly creative and fresh approaches to the marriage of musical harmony and melody."

Acres of Diamonds is set for release on 17 July. It can be pre-ordered via Bandcamp.

Photo: Eric Panico

Please Donate to Help Save PopMatters

PopMatters have been informed by our current technology and hosting provider that we have less than a month, until November 6, to move PopMatters off their service or we will be shut down. We are moving to WordPress and a new host, but we really need your help to save the site.


Music

Books

Film

Recent
Books

Peter Guralnick's 'Looking to Get Lost' Is an Ode to the Pleasures of Writing About Music

Peter Guralnick's homage to writing about music, 'Looking to Get Lost', shows how good music writing gets the music into the readers' head.

Film

In Praise of the Artifice in George Cukor's 'Sylvia Scarlett'

George Cukor's gender-bending Sylvia Scarlett proposes a heroine who learns nothing from her cross-gendered ordeal.

Music

The Cure: Ranking the Albums From 13 to 1

Just about every Cure album is worth picking up, and even those ranked lowest boast worthwhile moments. Here are their albums, spanning 29 years, presented from worst to best.

Television

The 20 Best Episodes of 'Star Trek: The Original Series'

This is a timeless list of 20 thrilling Star Trek episodes that delight, excite, and entertain, all the while exploring the deepest aspects of the human condition and questioning our place in the universe.

Music

The 20 Best Tom Petty Songs

With today's release of Tom Petty's Wildflowers & All the Rest (Deluxe Edition), we're revisiting Petty's 20 best songs.

Joshua M. Miller
Music

The 11 Greatest Hits From "Greatest Hits" Compilations

It's one of the strangest pop microcosms in history: singles released exclusively from Greatest Hits compilations. We rounded 'em up and ranked 'em to find out what is truly the greatest Greatest Hit of all.

Music

When Punk Got the Funk

As punks were looking for some potential pathways out of the cul-de-sacs of their limited soundscapes, they saw in funk a way to expand the punk palette without sacrificing either their ethos or idea(l)s.

Music

20 Hits of the '80s You Might Not Have Known Are Covers

There were many hit cover versions in the '80s, some of well-known originals, and some that fans may be surprised are covers.

Music

The Reign of Kindo Discuss Why We're Truly "Better Off Together"

The Reign of Kindo's Joseph Secchiaroli delves deep into their latest single and future plans, as well as how COVID-19 has affected not only the band but America as a whole.

Books

Tommy Siegel's Comic 'I Hope This Helps' Pokes at Social Media Addiction

Jukebox the Ghost's Tommy Siegel discusses his "500 Comics in 500 Days" project, which is now a new book, I Hope This Helps.

Music

Kimm Rogers' "Lie" Is an Unapologetically Political Tune (premiere)

San Diego's Kimm Rogers taps into frustration with truth-masking on "Lie". "What I found most frustrating was that no one would utter the word 'lie'."

Music

50 Years Ago B.B. King's 'Indianola Mississippi Seeds' Retooled R&B

B.B. King's passion for bringing the blues to a wider audience is in full flower on the landmark album, Indianola Mississippi Seeds.

Film

Filmmaker Marlon Riggs Knew That Silence = Death

In turning the camera on himself, even in his most vulnerable moments as a sick and dying man, filmmaker and activist Marlon Riggs demonstrated the futility of divorcing the personal from the political. These films are available now on OVID TV.

Film

The Human Animal in Natural Labitat: A Brief Study of the Outcast

The secluded island trope in films such as Cast Away and television shows such as Lost gives culture a chance to examine and explain the human animal in pristine, lab like, habitat conditions. Here is what we discover about Homo sapiens.

Music

Bad Wires Release a Monster of a Debut with 'Politics of Attraction'

Power trio Bad Wires' debut Politics of Attraction is a mix of punk attitude, 1990s New York City noise, and more than a dollop of metal.

Music

'Waiting Out the Storm' with Jeremy Ivey

On Waiting Out the Storm, Jeremy Ivey apologizes for present society's destruction of the environment and wonders if racism still exists in the future and whether people still get high and have mental health issues.

Music

Matt Berninger Takes the Mic Solo on 'Serpentine Prison'

Serpentine Prison gives the National's baritone crooner Matt Berninger a chance to shine in the spotlight, even if it doesn't push him into totally new territory.

Music

MetalMatters: The Best New Heavy Metal Albums of September 2020

Oceans of Slumber thrive with their progressive doom, grind legends Napalm Death make an explosive return, and Anna von Hausswolff's ambient record are just some of September's highlights.


Reviews
Collapse Expand Reviews



Features
Collapse Expand Features

PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.