Adia Victoria has only released two songs, but the Nashville-based singer is already on the rise as a Southern Gothic queen. Rolling Stone recently named her as one of “10 New Artists You Need To Know,” and Roger Moutenot (Yo La Tengo, Sleater-Kinney) is producing her debut with bandmates Ruby Rogers, Tiffany Minton and Mason Hickman.
Although often categorized as country, Victoria is actually a Southern cynic. On her Facebook page, she describes her music genre as “back-porch-blues-swamp-cat-lady-howlin’-at-the-moon.”
She doesn’t subscribe to the patriotic South. Instead, she projects a grittier representation — one that is reminiscent of the South of Truman Capote and Tennessee Williams.
In “Stuck in the South” she sings, “I don’t know nothing ’bout Southern belles/ But I can tell you something about Southern hell,” over a bluesy minor-chord ballad full of rock feedback and soaked in country twang.
Growing up in the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the foothills of South Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, Victoria has the life experience to justify her anti-South sentiments.
“I’m inspired by my religious upbringing in that I like to use my art to examine how my mind was influenced in its formative years by such a rigid and isolated environment,” she tells EW via email.
Victoria didn’t encounter much music outside of hymns until high school, when she discovered Nirvana’s In Utero and Fiona Apple, whom she cites as influences:
“Kurt [Cobain] showed me that my pain was a world in and of itself worth exploring and it could be manipulated in the name of art.”
Adia Victoria performs 8 pm Monday, March 16, at Cozmic; $7 adv., $9 door. All ages.