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Adia Victoria|A Southern Gothic

A Southern Gothic

Adia Victoria

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"I wanted you to get the humidity of it, the heat, the ways we reach to the pits of hell and the heights of heaven," South Carolina native Adia Victoria has said of her third album. "I wanted this record to encapsulate the extremes of the South." Mission accomplished; listening to A Southern Gothic, there is no escaping that uneasy—truly, haunted—feeling of so much beauty and so much menace all in one place. The singer-songwriter gets right to it with "Magnolia Blues": "I'm going back South/ Down to Carolina/ I'm gonna plant myself/ Under a magnolia/ I'm gonna let that dirt/ Do its work." The magnolia tree is both a symbol of deep-South femininity and strength as well as horror, given its association with lynchings. Victoria not only reclaims her roots, though—she firmly owns them and won't be run off by a history that's still awfully close to the surface. She elegantly brings a poet's touch to protest songs, never hitting you bluntly over the head. "Deep Water Blues'' layers cool swing with a spiritual vibe; its lyrics could be read as an expression of the exhaustion black women feel about having to educate eager allies on racism: "They say a black woman got steel for a spine … but I don't want to rescue you ... You gotta learn to swim or you will die tonight." Produced by T Bone Burnett, the songs feel both modern and as authentic as they come. You can imagine PJ Harvey covering the cheated-on lament of "Mean Hearted Woman," which sounds sexy and threatening and wounded all at once, its gently picked blues guitar giving way to lush, molasses-slow bass. On "You Was Born to Die," Victoria trades verses with alt-country badass Margo Price and folk-R&B star Kyshona Armonstrong, their voices uniting like a Greek chorus you definitely don't want narrating your life: "You made me love you and you made me cryyyyyyy/ You should remember you was born to die." (Jason Isbell ignites the whole thing with red-hot guitar.) Indeed, Victoria has intriguing taste in collaborators. Underground Appalachian legend Stone Jack Jones' ghostly moan perfectly haunts "My Oh My," about clinging to a loved one's presence after death. And the National's Matt Berninger's lived-in baritone is an appealing contrast to Victoria's tremulous sweetness on the achingly homesick "South for the Winter." Meanwhile, on "Whole World Knows," Victoria comes on like a modern-day Bobbie Gentry, spinning a fascinating character portrait of small-town tragedy. She sings of a girl who "from the time that she was three/ most anyone could see that girl was trouble," and "showed up strung out … at her surprise Sweet Sixteen … took a bite right out of the cake, didn't say one word of grace." Told in Victoria's tender, low-spoken falsetto, it sounds like secrets whispered between neighbors over a backyard fence. © Shelly Ridenour/Qobuz

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A Southern Gothic

Adia Victoria

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1
Magnolia Blues
00:03:29

T-Bone Burnett, ExecutiveProducer - Greg Calbi, Masterer - Marcello Giuliani, Banjo, Guitar, Mandolin, Percussion, Additional Production, Strings, Bass - Kyshona Armstrong, Vocals - Margo Price, Vocals - Adia Victoria, MainArtist - Adia Victoria Paul, Producer, Drums, Guitar, Vocals, Writer - Mason Hickman, Producer, Banjo, Engineer, Guitar, Mandolin, Percussion, Viola - Rachael Moore, Mixer - Peter Eddins, Percussion - Tim Beaty, Drums

© 2021 Atlantic Recording Corporation ℗ 2021 Atlantic Recording Corporation

2
Mean-Hearted Woman
00:03:43

T-Bone Burnett, ExecutiveProducer - Greg Calbi, Masterer - Marcello Giuliani, Percussion, Additional Production, Bass - Stone Jack Jones, Guitar, Vocals - Adia Victoria, MainArtist - Adia Victoria Paul, Producer, Guitar, Percussion, Vocals, Writer - Mason Hickman, Producer, Engineer, Guitar - Rachael Moore, Mixer

© 2021 Atlantic Recording Corporation ℗ 2021 Atlantic Recording Corporation

3
You Was Born To Die (feat. Kyshona Armstrong, Margo Price & Jason Isbell)
00:03:01

T-Bone Burnett, ExecutiveProducer - Greg Calbi, Masterer - Marcello Giuliani, Additional Production - Jason Isbell, Guitar, Vocals, FeaturedArtist - Kyshona Armstrong, Vocals, FeaturedArtist - Ernest B. McTell, Writer - Gena Johnson, AdditionalEngineer - Margo Price, Vocals, FeaturedArtist - Adia Victoria, MainArtist - Adia Victoria Paul, Producer, Percussion, Vocals - Mason Hickman, Producer, Engineer, Guitar, Percussion, Bass - Rachael Moore, Mixer - Peter Eddins, Guitar, Organ, Percussion, Bass, Rhodes Solo - Tim Beaty, Drums - Joseph Scales, Vocals

© 2021 Atlantic Recording Corporation ℗ 2021 Atlantic Recording Corporation

4
Whole World Knows
00:03:08

T-Bone Burnett, ExecutiveProducer - Greg Calbi, Masterer - Marcello Giuliani, Additional Production - Adia Victoria, MainArtist - Adia Victoria Paul, Producer, Guitar, Percussion, Vocals, Writer - Mason Hickman, Producer, Engineer, Guitar, Organ, Percussion, Bass - Rachael Moore, Mixer - Timothy Beaty, Drums

© 2021 Atlantic Recording Corporation ℗ 2021 Atlantic Recording Corporation

5
Troubled Mind
00:03:55

T-Bone Burnett, ExecutiveProducer - Greg Calbi, Masterer - Marcello Giuliani, Additional Production - Adia Victoria, MainArtist - Adia Victoria Paul, Producer, Vocals, Writer - Mason Hickman, Producer, Drums, Engineer, Guitar, Writer, Bass, Synthesizer - Rachael Moore, Mixer - Peter Eddins, Organ

© 2021 Atlantic Recording Corporation ℗ 2021 Atlantic Recording Corporation

6
Far From Dixie
00:04:01

T-Bone Burnett, ExecutiveProducer - Greg Calbi, Masterer - Marcello Giuliani, Additional Production - Jason Harris, Bass - Adia Victoria, MainArtist - Adia Victoria Paul, Producer, Guitar, Vocals, Writer - Mason Hickman, Producer, String Arranger, Engineer, Guitar, Percussion, Writer, Strings, Synthesizer, Rhodes Solo - Rachael Moore, Mixer - Alex Krew, Cello - Timothy Beaty, Drums

© 2021 Atlantic Recording Corporation ℗ 2021 Atlantic Recording Corporation

7
Please Come Down
00:03:10

T-Bone Burnett, ExecutiveProducer - Greg Calbi, Masterer - Marcello Giuliani, Additional Production - Adia Victoria, MainArtist - Adia Victoria Paul, Producer, Vocals, Writer - Mason Hickman, Producer, String Arranger, Engineer, Guitar, Piano - Rachael Moore, Mixer - Alex Krew, Cello

© 2021 Atlantic Recording Corporation ℗ 2021 Atlantic Recording Corporation

8
My Oh My (feat. Stone Jack Jones)
00:04:33

T-Bone Burnett, ExecutiveProducer - Greg Calbi, Masterer - Marcello Giuliani, Banjo, Percussion, Additional Production, Writer, Synthesizer - Stone Jack Jones, Guitar, Percussion, Vocals, Writer, FeaturedArtist - Adia Victoria, MainArtist - Adia Victoria Paul, Producer, Guitar, Percussion, Vocals, Writer - Mason Hickman, Producer, Engineer, Guitar, Percussion, Vocals, Writer, Synthesizer - Rachael Moore, Mixer

© 2021 Atlantic Recording Corporation ℗ 2021 Atlantic Recording Corporation

9
Deep Water Blues
00:03:27

T-Bone Burnett, ExecutiveProducer - Greg Calbi, Masterer - Marcello Giuliani, Percussion, Additional Production - Adia Victoria, MainArtist - Adia Victoria Paul, Producer, Guitar, Percussion, Vocals, Writer - Mason Hickman, Producer, Engineer, Guitar, Percussion, Writer, Bass, Synthesizer - Rachael Moore, Mixer

© 2021 Atlantic Recording Corporation ℗ 2021 Atlantic Recording Corporation

10
Carolina Bound
00:03:05

T-Bone Burnett, ExecutiveProducer - Greg Calbi, Masterer - Marcello Giuliani, Additional Production, Bass - Raphael Chassin, Drums, Percussion - Adia Victoria, MainArtist - Adia Victoria Paul, Producer, Guitar, Vocals, Writer - Mason Hickman, Producer, Banjo, Engineer, Mandolin, Viola - Rachael Moore, Mixer

© 2021 Atlantic Recording Corporation ℗ 2021 Atlantic Recording Corporation

11
South For The Winter (feat. Matt Berninger)
00:03:15

T-Bone Burnett, ExecutiveProducer - Greg Calbi, Masterer - Marcello Giuliani, Additional Production - Sean O'Brien, AdditionalEngineer - Matt Berninger, Vocals, FeaturedArtist - Kyshona Armstrong, Vocals - Margo Price, Vocals - Adia Victoria, MainArtist - Adia Victoria Paul, Producer, Guitar, Percussion, Vocals, Writer - Mason Hickman, Producer, Engineer, Guitar, Mandolin, Percussion, Piano, Bass - Rachael Moore, Mixer

© 2021 Atlantic Recording Corporation ℗ 2021 Atlantic Recording Corporation

Album Description

"I wanted you to get the humidity of it, the heat, the ways we reach to the pits of hell and the heights of heaven," South Carolina native Adia Victoria has said of her third album. "I wanted this record to encapsulate the extremes of the South." Mission accomplished; listening to A Southern Gothic, there is no escaping that uneasy—truly, haunted—feeling of so much beauty and so much menace all in one place. The singer-songwriter gets right to it with "Magnolia Blues": "I'm going back South/ Down to Carolina/ I'm gonna plant myself/ Under a magnolia/ I'm gonna let that dirt/ Do its work." The magnolia tree is both a symbol of deep-South femininity and strength as well as horror, given its association with lynchings. Victoria not only reclaims her roots, though—she firmly owns them and won't be run off by a history that's still awfully close to the surface. She elegantly brings a poet's touch to protest songs, never hitting you bluntly over the head. "Deep Water Blues'' layers cool swing with a spiritual vibe; its lyrics could be read as an expression of the exhaustion black women feel about having to educate eager allies on racism: "They say a black woman got steel for a spine … but I don't want to rescue you ... You gotta learn to swim or you will die tonight." Produced by T Bone Burnett, the songs feel both modern and as authentic as they come. You can imagine PJ Harvey covering the cheated-on lament of "Mean Hearted Woman," which sounds sexy and threatening and wounded all at once, its gently picked blues guitar giving way to lush, molasses-slow bass. On "You Was Born to Die," Victoria trades verses with alt-country badass Margo Price and folk-R&B star Kyshona Armonstrong, their voices uniting like a Greek chorus you definitely don't want narrating your life: "You made me love you and you made me cryyyyyyy/ You should remember you was born to die." (Jason Isbell ignites the whole thing with red-hot guitar.) Indeed, Victoria has intriguing taste in collaborators. Underground Appalachian legend Stone Jack Jones' ghostly moan perfectly haunts "My Oh My," about clinging to a loved one's presence after death. And the National's Matt Berninger's lived-in baritone is an appealing contrast to Victoria's tremulous sweetness on the achingly homesick "South for the Winter." Meanwhile, on "Whole World Knows," Victoria comes on like a modern-day Bobbie Gentry, spinning a fascinating character portrait of small-town tragedy. She sings of a girl who "from the time that she was three/ most anyone could see that girl was trouble," and "showed up strung out … at her surprise Sweet Sixteen … took a bite right out of the cake, didn't say one word of grace." Told in Victoria's tender, low-spoken falsetto, it sounds like secrets whispered between neighbors over a backyard fence. © Shelly Ridenour/Qobuz

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