The Singer and the Songwriter | What a Difference a Melody Makes (Mason Jar)

cd singer-songwriterThis is a great album: smoky and jazzy, with just the right amount of modern-day songwriting.




Coming from Los Angeles via San Francisco, the duo known as The Singer and The Songwriter has released its highly anticipated first full-length album, What a Difference a Melody Makes. Founded in 2009 by Tru Tran, guitarist/multi-instrumentalist and songwriter, and Rachel Garcia, lead vocalist, the duo evokes visions of dark, smoky jazz clubs and ’60s coffee shops. Their songwriting is a fantastic blend of that decade’s folk and jazz, combined with a modern pop approach. From the opening track to the last strains of the album, What a Difference shines bright from start to finish.

With exquisite production by Charlie Stavish (Juliette Lewis, Ryan Adams, Imagine Dragons), the album takes off on an emotional ride from the opening track: the award-winning “The Art of Missing You,” which won the Songwriters International Song Contest in 2012.

With just the right amount of jazz, blues, and a modern edge, the duo brings out the best in each other. Garcia’s voice is reminiscent of the late “Mama” Cass Elliot and the bluesy side of Bette Midler, yet her delivery is all original. Her voice possesses a calming ambiance, which readily combines with Tran’s stylistic guitar playing and song crafting. Lyrically, the material is insightful, true, and melancholy. While the singer can carefully create a mellow atmosphere, she is quite capable of becoming a vocal powerhouse. Song-wise, there seems to be no filler here. Every track makes its own statement, while still holding its true sound together. Spotlight tracks here include “The Art of Missing You”; “Old Fashioned,” an up-tempo romp about the want of a modern romance; and “Someday,” a ’60s -style tune with beauteous harmonies, reminding one of the girl groups of that era.

This is a great album: smoky and jazzy, with just the right amount of modern-day songwriting. The Singer and the Songwriter has created an opus worthy of national attention. With just the right exposure, this album has the makings of a certain hit in its genre…and, perhaps, outside of it. B+ | Marc Farr

About Marc Farr 244 Articles
Marc Farr is the Live Music & Assignments Editor of PLAYBACK:stl. He's so invaluable to us, we've nicknamed him Mr. Music. Reach out if you have coverage ideas! "I know it's only rock and roll...but I like it!"
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