The Singer and the Songwriter share a Street Food Cinema bill with “Singin’ in the Rain”
Rachel Garcia and Thu Tran, musically known as the Singer and the Songwriter, are uncommonly dedicated to their art: The duo relinquished their Eagle Rock apartment and most of their possessions last year so they could afford to fully promote their “Ballads for Trying Times” EP. Now they park their dog with family in the Bay Area while touring, and work on song arrangements (and obsessively listen to podcasts) in the car along dusty stretches of highway between performances.
This month they hope to finish recording half a dozen new songs they’ve been trying out with audiences. They’ll tuck a few into their Street Food Cinema set at Syd Kronenthal Park Saturday, along with material from “Ballads” and their 2014 album “What a Difference a Melody Makes.”
The couple, who met as theater students at San Francisco State, started making music together “recreationally” after relocating to L.A. Their melodic folk-jazz is burnished by their relaxed chemistry, with Tran’s tasteful fretwork framing Garcia’s smoky alto as she sings unsentimentally of compromises demanded of those who simultaneously pursue art and independence: “Do what you love nights and weekends/ In empty bars to scattered applause/ Give it your all part of the time…/ The time in between your work and your sleep.”
“It still continues to be a little scary,” Tran acknowledges with a laugh, speaking by phone from somewhere east of Seattle while Garcia drives them to their next gig. “We’re kind of living on the road now, but we still consider ourselves Angelenos and are looking to make it back and put down roots.”
— Bliss Bowen
Street Food Cinema presents the Singer and the Songwriter at Syd Kronenthal Park (3459 McManus Ave., Culver City) at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, May 6; a screening of “Singin’ in the Rain” follows at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $13 to $18 advance / $16 to $21 at the door, available at streetfoodcinema.com.
Hear songs from “Ballads for Trying Times” at thesingerand-thesongwriter.com.