Adia Victoria Announces New Album ‘A Southern Gothic’ & Shares Single

Check out the video for the album's lead single, "Magnolia Blues."

By Scott Bernstein Aug 4, 2021 11:06 am PDT

Songstress Adia Victoria will issue her third studio album, A Southern Gothic, via Canvasback Records on September 17 featuring guest spots from Margo Price, Jason Isbell and Matt Berninger. Today, Victoria released the LP’s opening track and lead single, “Magnolia Blues,” along with an accompanying video.

T Bone Burnett served as the executive producer of the follow-up to 2019’s Silences. Adia Victoria recorded the 11-track album with creative partner Mason Hickman at sessions started in 2019/early 2020 in Paris before the pair resumed work in Nashville last year while the pandemic raged. “Without excess or access—to musicians, producers, studio—Victoria and Hickman became a two-man band of sorts, connecting over Victoria’s collection of Southern tales as they tried to keep the pandemic from killing them,” explained press materials announcing the LP. “Hickman taught himself mandolin and banjo while Victoria cut drum and piano parts. And later, even when the world began to re-open, vaccines became available, and Victoria was able to get in the studio with T-Bone Burnett, the recordings that Victoria and Hickman had done on their own remained.”

“I wanted the album to be a time stamp of where I was in 2020,” said Victoria. “I wanted to pay homage and be honest to what I had to work with. I didn’t feel the need to go back and change it and pretty it up. It was honest and it was true.”

“Adia Victoria sings on an arc between Memphis Minnie and Sojourner Truth,” stated Burnett. “With this project, I was so anchored in the past and the Black brilliance that came before me that it was kind of a road map. They said, ‘Sweetie, we’re gonna locate you, and we’re gonna allow you to move it forward,'” added Adia.

Victoria shared the following regarding “Magnolia Blues”:

“In an unpublished manuscript in 1933, William Faulkner spoke on the Southerner’s ‘need to talk, to tell, since oratory is our heritage.’

After a year spent in my room in Nashville, I wondered what stories I had to tell. Often the only view of the South beyond my window was the magnolia tree in my backyard. It blocked the rest of the world from my sight. I limited my gaze to its limbs, its leaves and the obscene bloom of its iconic white flower.

The magnolia has stood as an integral symbol of Southern myth making, romanticism, the Lost Cause of the Confederates and the white washing of Southern memory. ‘Magnolia Blues’ is a reclaiming of the magnolia – an unburdening if its limbs of the lies it has stood for. This song centers the narrative of a Black Southern woman’s furious quest to find her way back home to the South under the shade of her Magnolia.

‘Magnolia Blues’ is an ode to Southern Black folk—too often hemmed out of what we mean when we say ‘Southerner’ – and it is also an ode to the South itself. To rescue it from – in the words of William Faulkner – ‘a make believe region of swords and magnolias and mockingbirds which perhaps never existed.’”

Watch Adia Victoria’s “Magnolia Blues” video below:

A Southern Gothic Tracklist

  1. Magnolia Blues
  2. Mean-Hearted Woman
  3. You Was Born To Die (ft. Kyshona Armstrong, Margo Price & Jason Isbell)
  4. Whole World Knows
  5. Troubled Mind
  6. Far From Dixie
  7. Please Come Down
  8. My oh My (ft. Stone Jack Jones)
  9. Deep Water Blues
  10. Carolina Bound
  11. South For The Winter (ft. Matt Berninger)
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