Amir Mohamed el Khalifa, who records and produces as Oddisee, has taken many forms over …
I recently overheard a couple on the MAX debating the merits of regional character traits. The fabled passivity of Portlanders was readily agreed upon, but while the woman was touting the superiority of Northeast natives, the gentleman was insistent that Southern people were the salt of the earth. He argued that people from the South are generally raised with manners and solid morals, but defectors indicated the deep-seated problems with Southern culture. As an eavesdropper I decided not to interject my opinion, although as chance would have it, Adia Victoria happened to be singing her own story into the left side of my head through my one working earbud.
Raised in the Blue Ridge Mountains in South Carolina as a Seventh Day Adventist, Victoria’s formative years were filled with hymnals and surrounded by a nature that she found fearsome. These themes reverberate through to her debut album, Beyond the Bloodhound. Victoria dropped out of high school and planned on leaving the South but got sucked into first Atlanta, then Nashville, where she truly tested her wings. Seemingly fearless, she doesn’t mince her words in this bold debut. On “Stuck in the South” she croons, “I don’t know nothin’ ’bout southern belles but I can tell you something ’bout southern hell.” With the indie rock ingenuity of Kim Deal and the raw audaciousness of CocoRosie, Adia Victoria takes the listener on a trip through a landscape as multifarious as the U.S. itself. With a beautiful voice and unapologetic lyrics, Victoria doesn’t pull her punches. From the very first acapella track, “Lonely Avenue,” to the last lovely track, “Mexico Blues,” Victoria is uncompromising and self-assured.
If you’re looking for familiarity and formula, you’re in the wrong place. Adia Victoria breaks the mold with Beyond the Bloodhounds. »
– Stephanie Scelza