Sweet Victoria Reed on Existential Spiritual Crisis in Music
The official video for Victoria Reed’s “Make It Easy,” one of eleven songs on her upcoming debut album, came out on October 22. A little over a week later, a crowd at Williamburg’s Baby’s All Right was singing the catchy folk-pop tune along with her. Dressed in a sleek, black, long sleeve romper, the sweet Reed performed most of the songs on her LP, “Chariot,” which will be released on February 26, 2016.
Reed arrived in New York three years ago from Chicago, where she was studying philosophy. “The whole point [of philosophy] is to learn to doubt everything and to be so critical of a thinker that nothing can really get by you and I guess I went too far with it. I doubted the entire world, kind of, and it sounds funny, but it’s a very scary thing.”
Though Reed was raised Greek Orthodox, her family was very open spiritually. “[My parents] both meditated and we had a family psychic that we would meet up with when were in Colorado.” This background gave Reed a strong openness to mysticism, despite being a philosophy major. “The two don’t usually go together, so I thought ‘I’m gonna get really, really good at proving things in a logical fashion.’ At the end of the day you can’t really prove things like that and that’s just ok. You’re not supposed to access your logic for certain things.”
“Chariot,” recorded at Studio G in Greenpoint, comes out of this period in Reed’s life where she experienced an existential spiritual crisis “that I brought upon myself,” she adds. “I write songs because I am feeling something so intensely and I have to get it out some way. When you dive into stuff like that, too deeply like I did, it brings on some pretty intense feelings.”
Reed has been singing and writing songs since she can remember, but didn’t learn to play guitar until she went to college. “I would get a guitar player to help me [write songs], but I got tired of having to wait for other people to go after it.”
After hearing a couple of demos Reed had posted online, her current manager contacted her. “[He] invited me out here to record some actual demos, not just in my bedroom or Garage Band ones.” Her manager put her together with the band on her album, then backed her to record some songs. “It felt really good and I was kind of ready to get out of Chicago at that point so I was like, ‘if I move to New York do you think it would be a good decision?’ and [my manager] said ‘yes, please come, come.”
Reed lives in Williamsburg. See Victoria Reed at Rockwood Music Hall (196 Allen St) on Tuesday, December 1 at 8:00pm as part of the monthly Communion Residency. Tickets are $14. Follow Reed on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.