Pitchfork (Website) - "Through muscular, chugging guitars and plodding percussion, Nashville's Adia Victoria explores ugly emotional realities with 'take it or leave it' boldness."
Audio Mixers: Marc Whitmore; Roger Moutenot.
Illustrator: Lorraine Feder.
Photographer: Brandon Thibodeaux.
A vivid crossroads of punk, blues, garage, and folk mark the arresting debut from Nashville's Adia Victoria. A native of South Carolina raised in a strict Seventh Day Adventist household, her relationship with the Deep South is as complicated as the place itself. The album's title, Beyond the Bloodhounds, is taken from Harriet Jacobs' compelling 1861 autobiographical novel Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, and Victoria's defiant songs whip up a bitter wind howling with themes of race, religion, and her own personal narrative of escaping and then returning to the South. Co-produced by analog-leaning indie rock vet Roger Moutenot (Yo La Tengo, Sleater-Kinney), Beyond the Bloodhounds' sonic patina simmers with overheated guitars and instruments nimbly exploring the edge of fuzz. It's an aura matched perfectly to Victoria's melodious voice, which shifts between demure testimonies and fiery incantations at the drop of a hat. Highlights abound, from the rollicking swamp rock of lead single "Dead Eyes" to the spooky dedications and condemnations of "Sea of Sand." It's a version of the oft-romanticized American South that still gets far less media exposure than it should, its denizens living behind a veil of Spanish moss. On "Stuck in the South," the album's thematic centerpiece, Victoria rasps sweetly over a springy blues creep, tossing out lines like "I don't know nothin' 'bout Southern belles, but I can tell you somethin' 'bout Southern hell when your skin give 'em cause to take and take." And yet for all its troubles, the South remains both her home and her muse, and these eerie gothic blues make for one very enchanting debut. ~ Timothy Monger