I first came across acoustic singer/songwriter Celia St Croix on Twitter via local-bandleader and fellow-tweeter Scott West, who cowrote the four songs on her debut EP.
Even though St Croix, a student at City College, performs several times a month at venues such as the Stage Bar, Hard Rock Café, Humphrey’s Backstage, Café Libertalia, and Winstons, for the first few weeks all I knew of her was from her tweets: “Every few weeks my stomach becomes an open portal to another dimension, and all food on the planet seems to gravitate toward it.” “What a different world this would be if we measured time in moments instead of minutes.” “Talking to your boss or a parent makes for a perfect opportunity to remember that you are he and he is you.” “When does evening actually begin? Cuz a construction worker told me good evening today at like 11:30 a.m.”
I was curious, so I played some of her songs online. The tunes tended toward lovelorn balladeering, the kind of musical storytelling that would sound at home on an album by Harry Chapin or Joni Mitchell, often delivered in a warbly Jewel-like vibrato.
The opening cut on her EP, “Waiting for Your Touch,” is an unabashed wish-you-were-here love note (“I don’t wanna make you rush/ But I need you right away”), a theme recast more darkly in a newer song I found on YouTube, “Tragedy,” where “a week away from you is like a year’s gone by” was given added weight by a guest backup vocalist who filled out St Croix’s sparse arrangement.
I particularly enjoyed “Mr. Singh,” with its plaintive and poignant chorus, “Guarding a broken heart/ Mr. Singh sits alone once again/ Breathing in/ Sinking his head in his hands.”
“It’s the true story of a man who was working at a gas station one night,” says St Croix, “when I was driving up to Sacramento. When I met him, I knew I was going to write a song about him.”
Celia St Croix performs Saturday, December 31 at the Wine Lover in Hillcrest.
CAN YOU DESCRIBE YOUR MUSIC?
“It sounds like a girl with a guitar singing to heal the broken hearts of the world.”
WHAT’S IN YOUR MUSIC PLAYER?
1) The Big Thank You, Audio Sapien Medicine Show. “Most of the CDs I get are from other local artists such as this one, which has been in the player for a while now.”
2) Miike Snow, self-titled. “Swedish indie pop with great production, lyrics, melody, and emotion.”
3) Radiohead, Hail to the Thief. “Cool electronica sounds with driving beats, beauty, and intensity.”
4) Regina Spektor, Live in London. “She sings and plays so perfectly in concert.”
5) Arcade Fire, The Suburbs. “An amazing record, very inspiring.”
CD YOU’RE TOO EMBARRASSED TO MENTION?
“Probably Jordin Sparks’s debut record, but what can I say...I love her voice.”
WHERE DO YOU HANG OUT?
“Bar Eleven, especially on Bosen & Suede acoustic Mondays.”
“Regina Spektor at Canes in November 2006. She’s the reason I started singing and writing songs in 2005. Her performance was brilliant, and I even got to meet her!”
BIGGEST LIE YOU EVER TOLD?
“I used to tell myself big fat lies all the time, such as ‘you suck’ or ‘nobody likes you.’ Now I tell myself ‘you rule’ and ‘everyone loves you,’ but those are also lies.”
“Still in love with American Beauty, after all these years. Has there been a film since that even compares?”
FIRST TIME DRUNK?
“I was 14 and staying with a friend at her mom’s apartment, and they convinced me to take shots of tequila. After a few shots, I got so emotional that I started crying. Over a boy.”
THREE THINGS WE DON’T KNOW ABOUT YOU?
1) “I’m a recovering meetup.com addict.”
2) “I carry a fresh pair of chopsticks with me at all times.”
3) “I have a pink ukulele.” ■