15 Great Albums You Didn't Hear in 2016

Rolling Stone critics choose LPs that flew under the radar

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Adia Victoria, 'Beyond the Bloodhounds'
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Adia Victoria, 'Beyond the Bloodhounds'

It would be a mistake to try to neatly classify Nashville-based Adia Victoria's debut Beyond the Bloodhounds as country or Americana, since it doesn't seem particularly intended for either audience. Songs like "Mexico Blues" and "Head Rot" bear unmistakable traces of country, folk and blues, but they're shocked with dissonant blasts of electric guitar and set on fire with Victoria's trenchant observations about life in the South as a woman of color. "I don't know nothin' 'bout Southern belles/But I can tell you something 'bout Southern hell/When your skin give 'em cause to take and take," she chants on "Stuck in the South," recalling Nina Simone's activism from a corner of contemporary music where voices like hers remain under-represented. Jon Freeman

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