Sound Bites: Tristan Prettyman

Tristan Prettyman

Tristan Prettyman | Photo by Michael Underwood

Welcome to Sound Bites, where we meet rock musicians at the crossroads between music and food.

Digital Dossier
Twitter Handle: @tprettyman
Facebook: Tristan Prettyman Page
Official Website:
Blog: Tacos are better on Tuesdays

Two years ago, singer-songwriter Tristan Prettyman had her heart broken in a very public way. One minute she was happily engaged to fiancee Jason Mraz (he of “I’m Yours” and “The Remedy” fame), the next, he was breaking things off, sending Prettyman into a tailspin.

After taking some time off to travel and clear her head — and weathering serious vocal problems — Prettyman started slowly weaving her heartache into song. She ended up with an emotional rollercoaster of an album, a far cry from the little-girl revenge screeds of her contemporaries.

Cedar + Gold is not your average breakup record; it’s almost as if the tracks were structured in order of emotion. The first tune is called “Second Chance” (the “I want you back” phase), whereas the penultimate is “The Rebound” (the “I found somebody new” phase). It ends on the catchy “Never Say Never,” which leaves a breadcrumb trail back to love. With Mraz? Probably not, though the two remain friends.

With Valentine’s Day tomorrow, CityEats thought Tristan would be the perfect subject for this special Sound Bites: Love Edition. Consider this our rose to you.

We really enjoyed 2012’s Cedar + Gold — which, at its core, is a breakup album. What kinds of foods did you hit the hardest when you were brokenhearted and writing music?
Does wine count? A lot of tacos were eaten, a lot of good bread and cheese. And then I sort of had this moment where I realized in case I ran into him [Mraz] I wanted to look hot. So then I started cooking more, which I love to do. It’s very therapeutic. Lots of salads and homemade dressings. Super foods and fresh juice. Green shakes. I love taking fresh, seasonal, local produce and seeing how much I can spruce it up, with just a couple ingredients.

We’re tickled by your tune “The Rebound,” which is about finding “the new guy.” It mentions bananas more than once. Are bananas the sexiest fruit at the produce stand?
I think so. Who doesn’t love a banana? I love making a peanut butter, banana, and almond milk smoothie with flax meal. Mmm.

You’re a big taco lover. Where is the best place in the world to get tacos?
I grew up on Fidel’s in Solana Beach, Calif. So when my best friend, Leah, isn’t cooking her family’s secret taco recipe, I’m at Fidel’s. Haggo’s tacos [in Encinitas] is also great [and] a little healthier; and Bull Taco in the Cardiff campground is great. [They have] cheap, little street tacos, and you can check out the surf.

You’ve toured extensively. What is your favorite food city to visit?
Recently, we were in Cleveland, Ohio, at the House of Blues and got tipped off to this place around the corner called Greenhouse Tavern. Amazing. So much so we ate there two nights in a row! They also have a ton of gluten-free, veggie, vegan, and paleo options. The wings are to die for, as well as the bacon-wrapped dates. Oh, and they also have a sister restaurant around the corner called Noodlecat. So good!

Back to “The Rebound” for a second. The song’s narrator says that “the magic happens at Trader Joe’s.” Is the supermarket a good place to pick up potential new lovers?
Ya know, I would say so. Everyone’s all excited and hungry! Can you imagine if they had a dating system? Like a little red flag that was for you if you were single? Ha.

Look out for a new Sound Bites story most every week. Until then: Brown sugar! How come you taste so good? Brown sugar! Just like fructose should.