“Stuck In The South,” the debut single from the little-advertised shadow figure Adia Victoria (along with her band: Mason Hickman, Tiffany Minton and Ruby Rogers), is a curious matrix, at once single-mindedly powerful and also complex, made up of conflicting impulses.
Adia Victoria’s is not a voice that sidles in politely. Rather, it slams open the door with one callused fist, stalks into the joint, elbows you off your barstool, and orders a whiskey neat. The 28-year old South Carolina native has clearly practiced making herself heard, both in the crowded Nashville bar and honky-tonk circuit where she made her bones as a performer, and also as a means of escape from the American Gothic nightmare she describes in “Stuck In The South.”
“Yeah, I been thinkin’ about makin’ tracks,” Victoria sneers in the first verse of the song, “but the only road I know, it’s going to lead me back.” She sings with an animalistic glare, conjuring not only a clear picture of her stagnant, claustrophobic, sinister environment but also of herself as a character within it. Every twang on her guitar cuts like barbed wire, and it’s this anger, haunting and predatory, that makes the single so goddamned good. But in “Stuck In The South,” Victoria’s prowess as a storyteller is impressive too, and the track evokes the drawl and swagger of Southern rock and roll as colorfully as it does the “Southern hell” she’s trying to get away from. She seems to turn her fear of becoming a product of the South on its head, becoming unstuck not by running from her demons but by dominating them. The song immerses a listener in a three-dimensional environment, cinematically evocative and all the richer for its details and complexities.
Produced by Roger Moutenot (known for his work with Yo La Tengo), “Stuck In The South” is Victoria’s first foray into relative Internet mainstream. Her minimalist approach to releasing music–even now, after her single’s release resulted in a resounding critical chorus demanding more–makes a powerful song even punchier. Dig into “Stuck In The South” below, via Soundcloud.