Local Favorite Tops New York Times Best Songs of 2019 List

Angelica Garcia, with her song “Jicama,” finds herself in the company of acclaimed recording artists Lizzo, Khalid, the late Leonard Cohen, Black Keys, and Blake Shelton

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Angelica Garcia Photo by Myles Katherine.

By Carol Vaughn

Angelica Garcia’s song, “Jicama,” is among 54 songs listed in the New York Times Best Songs of 2019.

Garcia, who formerly lived on the Eastern Shore, is listed along with artists including the Black Keys, Bruce Hornsby and Blake Shelton, among others.

Garcia’s song, “Jicama,” comes in at number 10 of 25 titles on music critic Jon Pareles’ list of top songs of the year. The Dec. 11 article also includes pop music critic Jon Caramanica’s list of 24 top songs.

“I’m very honored to be in the top 10,” Garcia said, adding, “It was a great surprise to see my name against such accomplished artists.”

Garcia is the daughter of Angelica Garcia-Randle and the step-daughter of the Rev. Cameron Randle, past rector of St. James and St. George’s Episcopal churches on the Shore.

The Latinx singer was born in Los Angeles and now lives in Richmond.

“I love the Eastern Shore and am gratefiul for the years I spent there,” Garcia said, adding, “I miss my friends and the ESVA community. Living in Accomac was very special to me.”

Garcia lists among her musical influences Lucinda Williams, Jack White, Neil Young, Willie Nelson, Radiohead, J.J. Cale, and Mississippi John Hurt, according to her professional Facebook page.

Her song’s title refers to a root vegetable native to Mexico and Central and South America, which now is used in cuisines worldwide. Garcia wrote about the meaning of “Jicama” on her website, www.angelicagarciamusic.net

“This song is about not being seen for having a dual identity. When you don’t feel seen, you don’t feel accepted for who you are. In my case, I’m American, but I am also Mexican and Salvadoran because of my family blood,” Garcia said, adding, “Though people often don’t know where to put me, I proudly wear both sides of my identity. The U.S. is a country made up of people from other countries. This song and video are a love letter to kids who grew up embracing two worlds just like me.”

Pareles in the Times article says of the song, “Garcia proclaims her bicultural heritage — ‘wearing my roots and flying this flag’ — over a snowballing, polyrhythmic buildup that melds Mexican rhythms and electronic savvy.”

Additionally, Garcia performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D. C., Dec. 22 as part of the Kennedy Center’s free daily performance series.

She has an album due to release in February and also is looking forward to an upcoming tour in Europe.

A video of Garcia performing “Jicama” can be viewed on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?reload=9&v=E0xmezeYSoI

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