The new year means new artists to fall in love with, and Victoria Reed should definitely be one of them. The Detroit native, who’s now living in Brooklyn, is an up-and-coming singer/songwriter whose music is, as she calls it, “indie pop-rock with a country lean.” In short, it’s awesome.
One of my favorite things is finding an artist with a cool backstory, and Reed has one. She had a pretty normal childhood, besides the fact that her dad is saxophonist Alto Reed, who played in Bob Seger’s band and hung out with Kid Rock and Pam Anderson. Music legit runs in her blood.
Four years ago, she was feeling down about her life in Chicago and in the midst of an existential crisis. She shuffled her tarot cards and laid out her life: For the present, she got the Death card, which was spot-on for her current state. For her future card, she pulled The Chariot, which is all about victory and triumph. That’s when she decided to start writing songs for a record and pushed forward to begin a career in music. Her debut album, named Chariot (!!!), is out February 26th, and is filled with love and calming, positive vibes.
Reed’s kicking off 2016 with the music video for her song “Nothing to Lose.” As part of our exclusive premiere of the video, I asked her some questions about the universe, her debut record, and the new video.
HelloGiggles: The universe seems to be on your side with your tarot card reading, your recent engagement (congrats!); and, you’ve said that the recording process was magical. What are your plans for the new year?
Victoria Reed: I’ve been singing and writing songs my entire life and I’ve even been touring pretty extensively over the past few years, but when people ask, “Where can I hear your music?” I’ve just kind of had to shrug my shoulders and say, “Well, you can’t!” for a while now. So it feels really really great to finally be getting it out there, almost like it will all finally be real! I’m also very excited for all of the touring to come-especially considering the fact that my fiancé is my keyboard player, which makes touring feel more like a crazy vacation than a tough, lonely life on the road.
HG: I love what you said in Brooklyn Mag, “We all get lost in our thought processes, but wouldn’t it be amazing if someone could hear one of my songs and feel a little less shitty?” and your entire record is awesome- anything else you want to say about it?
VR: Every song on the record is pretty hopeful. I didn’t set out to make it that way as a rule or anything, but that’s just the kind of story that I’m most inspired to tell. So, nothing would make me happier than to pass some of that energy on to anyone that’s struggling with any kind of doubt or despair. I feel like I really had to earn that hopefulness, so it means everything to me that someone might then be able to extract something comforting or useful out of what I’m saying. It lights me up to think that it all might turn out to be of use to more than just myself and my own journey.
HG: What bands/artists would you love to hit the road with on your dream tour?
VR: I love Neko Case, Jenny Lewis, Natalie Merchant! I’m on a big Kurt Vile kick lately. But, it’s hard to say: Ideally, and what matters the most to me, would be that the fans of whoever I tour with be receptive to my music, right? Is that thinking about it too practically?
HG: Definitely not! That makes sense.
If someone hasn’t listened to your music before, which two songs would you tell him/her to listen to? And why?
VR: I would recommend they listen to “Make it Easy” and “All My Power” because those seem to be the two that people generally react to the most at my shows. More than any others, I’ll find people coming up to me after shows and referencing a line from one of the two that they really connected to. I’d also say that as a pair they pretty accurately represent the range of different sounds on the record.
HG: We’re so excited to premiere your music video for “Nothing to Lose”! How’d you come up with the idea? And want to talk about the song itself and what it means to you?
VR: The song itself is about my experience of working my way out of a very fearful place only to realize how ridiculous my fearfulness really was and that courage and ultimately love had been available to me all along. Fear is useful and even necessary in a lot of ways, but in excess it has a way of making everything feel kind of surreal and unclear, which is a feeling we tried to capture in the video. But, we also wanted to express a sense of finding that place of courage, goodness, and clarity by playing with a contrast between those two states.
Featured image by Shervin Lainez.