Angelica Garcia decorated the Tiny Desk with colorful fabrics, orange flowers, a fuchsia dress, and a great deal of pride in what she calls her "Salva-Mex-American" heritage. Her song "Orange Flower" got my attention back in 2016, but I thought of her only as a Virginia rock and roller. Not anymore. Angelica Garcia's music in the 2020s embraces her heritage, her life growing up in Los Angeles, and the ranchero music she heard from her family. Angelica moved to Virginia at age seventeen. The songs she sings at the Tiny Desk, all from her album Cha Cha Palace, reflect the way she was seen, or more to the point, not seen, in her new home. "Jícama" captures that feeling of invisibility:
"I see you, but you don't see me
Jícama, jícama, guava tree
I been trying to tell ya but you just don't see
Like you, I was born in this country."
On the opening song, "Guadalupe," Angelica expresses respect for La Virgen de Guadalupe, the patron saint of Mexico, singing "I wanna be like her." Guadalupe inspires her to declare that "power isn't defined by your physique." In this Tiny Desk concert, Angelica, along with her Richmond bandmates, powerfully convey the all-important message that we are all part of this country's colorful fabric, and we all deserve to be heard.
"Valentina in the Moonlight"
Angelica Garcia: vocals, guitar, looper; Chrissie Lozano: bass; Ryan Jones: keys; Josh McCormick: drums; Kenneka Cook: vocals, percussion; John Sizemore: guitar
Producers: Bob Boilen, Morgan Noelle Smith, Jack Corbett; Creative director: Bob Boilen; Audio engineers: Josh Rogosin, Alex Drewenskus; Videographers: Jack Corbett, Maia Stern, Melany Rochester, Kara Frame; Editor: Melany Rochester; Associate Producer: Bobby Carter; Production Assistant: Shanti Hands; Executive producer: Lauren Onkey; VP, programming: Anya Grundmann; Photo: Kisha Ravi/NPR