Nashville singer-songwriter Adia Victoria has released her new Dark Blues album A Southern Gothic today. Co-produced by Victoria with Mason Hickman, it includes appearances by Jason Isbell, Margo Price, and the National’s Matt Berninger.
The album’s first single, “Magnolia Blues,” is also out Wednesday. An eerie, acoustic-guitar-driven tune that expands to thick bass and a ghostly orchestra of strings and banjo, “Magnolia Blues” traces one woman’s journey back home. In the process, it reclaims a piece of Southern iconography for all Southerners.
“The magnolia has stood as an integral symbol of Southern myth-making, romanticism, the Lost Cause of the Confederates and the whitewashing of Southern memory,” Victoria says in a release. “’Magnolia Blues’ is a reclaiming of the magnolia — an unburdening of its limbs [and] 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.”
A Southern Gothic was executive produced by T Bone Burnett and recorded partly during the lockdown stage of 2020. Isbell and Price join Kyshona Armstrong as guests on the track “You Was Born to Die,” while Berninger pops up on “South for the Winter.” The project follows Victoria’s 2019 album Silences, which was produced by Aaron Dessner.
A Southern Gothic track list:
“You Was Born to Die” (featuring Kyshona Armstrong, Margo Price, and Jason Isbell)
“Whole World Knows”
“Far From Dixie”
“Please Come Down”
“My oh My” (featuring Stone Jack Jones)
“Deep Water Blues”
“South for the Winter” (featuring Matt Berninger)