Who knew? Turns out that there is a burgeoning
folk and rock subgenre coming out of the Southern California surf scene.
First there was Jewel (who, granted, was a transplant), then Switchfoot, a
group that values hanging ten as much as Christian Rock. Then came the surprise
success of pro surfer Jack Johnson. Now here comes Tristan Prettyman,
another attractive surf competitor that just happens to also be able to write a nice,
With a husky voice slightly reminiscent of the Joneses
(Norah and Rickie Lee), Prettyman turns out to be a wonderful singer and a
very good (acoustic) guitarist. She can merge the tropics and country
with the superlative "Always Feel This Way..." The love
ballad "Electric..." is stunningly beautiful and moody. A duet with
Jason Mraz called "Shy That Way" has a wonderful bossa nova sway. That
is followed by a jazzy little boho number called "Please" which feels like
something off of Rickie Lee' debut.
It's obvious that when she was competing on the waves,
Tristan Prettyman spent as much time by a beach campfire singing with an old
six-string. Twentythree is a lovely collection of quietly
powerful tunes for when you're in a contemplative mood. With any luck,
it could become an out-of-the-box hit like Come Away With Me was a
couple of years ago. Surfing's loss is our gain.