Fresh off their New Year’s Eve concert at the Hollywood Palladium and sold-out local shows at The Sound, Thee Sacred Souls is ready to blow up in 2024. The San Diego-based trio, made up of lead vocalist Josh Lane, drummer Alex Garcia, and bass player Sal Samano, released their self-titled debut album in 2022 to critical acclaim and millions of streams on Spotify.
The band formed when South Bay natives Garcia and Samano found Lane and his smooth vocals—cultivated by classical voice training and church choirs—online. The group’s mutual love of record-collecting and desire to create a modern sound rooted in retro nostalgia led Lane to move to the area in 2017.
The group released their first single, “Can I Call You Rose?” in 2020 on Daptone imprint Penrose Records. The harmonious, silky track scratched a soulful itch during the pandemic, increasing the band’s visibility and popularity. Appearances on shows like Jimmy Kimmel Live! and The Late Show with Stephen Colbert cemented their trajectory, but the band still calls San Diego home (for now). Garcia and Saman share their favorite creativity-fueling places to eat, drink, and play in the area.
Chula Vista hometowner Garcia knows every local has their favorite taco shop in San Diego. “Growing up, mine was Los Taquitos in Chula Vista,” he says. While the menu isn’t huge, he notes, they’ve perfected each one of their offerings over the years. If he’s not getting their famous rolled tacos, “my go-to order is the tacos de cabeza or their breakfast burrito,” he says. Be sure to bring cash to the old-school joint, as they don’t accept credit cards.
Samano says the best place to enjoy the goods from Los Taquitos (or your own beloved outpost) is a spot he’s been hanging out his entire life—the Imperial Beach Pier. “I was born and raised in Imperial Beach, so the pier was always home base, a meet-up spot or somewhere to clear my head,” he explains. The southernmost pier in the United States stretches nearly 1,500 feet over the Pacific Ocean (almost twice as long as the Pacific Beach pier) and has been a landmark of the area since 1963. Add the sounds of Thee Sacred Souls as background music, and it’s the perfect way to end a day in South Bay.