August 11, 2016 — “Sea of Sand” by Aida Victoria

Aida Victoria

IF you only listen to one song tonight, make it “Sea of Sand” by Aida Victoria (2016, from the album Beyond the Bloodhounds).

Aida Victoria is a “gothic country” singer/songwriter based in Nashville. She grew up in Spartanburg, South Carolina in a Seventh Day Adventist home. She describes her own music as treading a line between rock, afro-punk, and country, while employing some elements of Blues. She also says that her music is like Southern Gothic fiction. There are some dark, tragic overtones with glimmering light underneath.

She moved around a bit, and finally settled in Nashville. All the while, she pieced together enough songs for the debut album, which came out in May via Canvasback Records. The album was produced by Roger Moutenot, who is known for producing most of Yo La Tengo’s albums. He also produced the Sleater-Kinney album The Hot Rock (1999), and many others.

I had never heard of Aida Victoria until the Hopscotch Music Festival lineup was announced for this year’s festival, which is just four weeks away. By the time I got my preliminary research done, I had her on a short list of bands to see.

To be honest, I haven’t heard the entire album yet, but I like everything that I have heard. Especially this:

“Sea of Sand” by Aida Victoria

It’s got a bit of loud/quiet/loud. It’s got a bit of dark/bright/dark. And there’s some weirdness. I really love the weirdness and the beauty and the darkness of the lyrics.

The Germans have a word for the feeling of pining for a place you’ve never been. Fernweh. That’s sort of expressed in these opening lines:

Here’s a song for Montana
and North and South Dakota too
Here’s a song for Wyoming
And all the pretty places I ain’t been to

And then this weird line:

Here’s a song for my friends
I hate every single one of y’all

And then the line from which the song title comes:

Here’s a song for Arizona
The damn desert nearly done me in
You could drown in an ocean
or you could sink in a sea of sand
I am sinking in a sea of sand

Those are all great lines as far as I’m concerned, but here’s the real payoff in the closing lines:

I’m in the ground
If I was an angel, I’d be sweet
But I ain’t holy, honey. That ain’t me
I ain’t nothing but a no-good small town girl
Hell-bent on ruling the world
I think I’ll rule the world
I’m gonna rule the world

I love that she’s unapologetic about being Southern. And I also love that at the end of that stuff, which is sort of dark, comes the line about “I think I’ll rule the world”.

Aida Victoria is playing on the middle night of Hopscotch. She plays at 11:00 pm on Friday September 9 at the Nash Hall. Friday is the night with the least amount of schedule conflicts for me, so I’ll be able to catch at least the first half of her set before heading out to Car Seat Headrest at CAM.

You can view the Hopscotch schedule in pdf format here. You can still get tickets for the whole festival, single day wristbands, or single event main stage shows. See all the ticketing details here.

About dlee

North Carolina born and bred. I'm a restaurant guy who spends free time listening to music, watching hockey and playing Scrabble. I have a bachelor's degree in political science and I will most likely never put it to use. View all posts by dlee

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