Adia Victoria spent the last few years writing, recording, touring and performing, while entrenched in the infamous artist R&R world - restaurants and retail work. Day jobs at a laundry list of Nashville it and not so it spots gave the musician lots of people watching time as well as the mental and emotional space to marinate in her art.
Adia blows the social hush-hush lid off the mental and emotional state of a young black woman growing up under the poverty line in the Deep South and all the implications of such. No pretense. No jive. But also, like the writing of Eudora Welty and Tennessee Williams, there is plenty of Southern Gothic styled, marrow deep joy.
In a recent feature story, Fader encouraged us to, Meet Adia Victoria, A Poet Making Country Music a Little Creepier. She is found in album cuts like Sea of Sand and Stuck in the South, revealing some of her place-based aha moments. In the latter, she notes, I don't know nothin' about Southern belles/ But I can tell you something about Southern hell. As songs like Head Rot, and first single Dead Eyes show us, Adia says, it's an album of falling in love, dealing with loss, confusion, anger, love, and loving myself.
Produced by Roger Moutenot (Yo La Tengo, Sleater Kinney) and the artist herself, recorded at Nashville, Tennessee's Haptown Studios, Beyond the Bloodhounds features the indelible lyrics, voice, and guitar solos of Adia Victoria along with a band of talented musicians including Tiffany Minton (Drums), Alex Caress (keys), Mason Hickman (guitar), and Jason Harris (bass). She recalls, the studio is a Music City treasure. It used to be a car repair shop. You walk in and there are no windows. It's dark and moody. It feels like walking into the mind.
The result of a lifetime of introspection and a younger self marked by silent observation, Adia Victoria's Beyond the Bloodhounds was three active, recording years in the making. The title pays homage to a line in Harriet Jacobs' Narrative in the Life of a Slave Girl.
Ultimately, Victoria's debut album is more both/and, than either/or. The complexity of her Southern, barrel-aged roots and world traveling, bookworm woman ways will lure you out of the status quo.
Publications like American Songwriter, Rookie, and NPR are taking notice.
Now on the brink of her 30s, fluent in the language of her own self, Adia Victoria stands poised to take her place in a line of true artists. Her mother warned that she feels too much and would be torn up by the world. Adia will tell you that proved to be true. I've felt shredded, but I'm now blessed to embrace the intense feelings as part of my job. That's what I do. It's my bread and butter. My art depends on me feeling and experiencing. I show up, live, and come back and say, oooooh Honey, it was like this...
1. I'm With You
2. Borderlines And Aliens
4. Ways To Go
5. Shark Attack
6. Sit Still
7. Hippy Hill
8. What I Know
9. Didn't Have To Go
10. Bitin' The Bullet
11. News To Me
13. Save The Party For Me