“The veil before your face is falling,” Adia Victoria sings in her latest single, “and it’s falling fast.” The song, “South Gotta Change,” is both a tortured love letter and urgent call to action directed at the Nashville performer’s home region.
Executive produced by T Bone Burnett, “South Gotta Change” is the first release from Victoria since Silences, her 2019 album of spectral, textured roots music. The murky blues-rock offering is one of her most potent yet, a poignant declaration that builds into a powerful vision at the song’s climax: “If you’re tired of walking,” Victoria sings, “let the children lead the way.”
In a release, Victoria says the song “is a prayer, an affirmation, and a battle cry all at once. It is a promise to engage in the kind of ‘good trouble’ John Lewis understood necessary to form a more perfect union.”
The song’s video, which displays a montage of Southern cemeteries, storefronts, homes, and monuments, as well as the Tennessee State Capitol, opens with a quote from the Mississippi author Barry Hannah: “The Deep South may be wretched, but it can howl.”
Last week, Victoria participated in a panel that addressed black equity in the Americana music world. “We’re not the problem,” she said, imploring her white peers to take on the task of making the Americana space more equitable. “And we’re not going to be the solution.”