You know when you meet someone and you just like them? Like, like them to the point where you feel comfortable enough to tell them a joke, execute it poorly, but still don’t feel like a complete dipshit? This is what it’s like being around Victoria Reed, a Detriot-bred, Brooklyn-based singer and songwriter. She’s a person who has endured plenty of hardships, which she jokes has given her a lifetime of material, and she has the instant familiarity of an old friend. In no time we were reminiscing about when the Spice Girls and No Doubt dominated our lives and how our fathers’ name changes–Thomas Neal Cartmell to Alto Reed, for her, and Harland Stewart to Curt Bogle, for me–were something that we grew to accept.
Reed, whose homegrown voice is a soulful blend of dusty folk-pop with an air of country, is influenced by Bob Dylan, whom she credits for helping her through writer’s block. Her upcoming album, Chariot, which comes out on February 26, was recorded in Greenpoint and inspired by a tarot card reading she gave herself four years ago where she pulled the Chariot in her Future spot, signifying impending victory over obstacles—a sign which encouraged a dejected Reed.
At the time, Reed had been living in Chicago and in the midst of an existential spiritual collapse brought on by an overdose of spirituality and philosophy. The collection of songs on Chariot is Reed’s introspective look from this period of questioning and doubt, and guide for those who are lost in their own struggles.
“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?”
I spent the day with Reed in some of her favorite places to visit in Williamsburg as she explained what makes each spot special to her, and why they might become so for you too.
Marlow and Daughters
“On the walk home from the train, you cannot not stop in here. Everything is so fresh, and there’s something special about going to the market just a couple blocks away that isn’t a major supermarket and getting fresh lettuce and arugula. And their cookies; I have a serious cookie problem because they’re delicious. I’m getting two.”
“It’s amazing. I’ll pick up a million things and sometimes I won’t buy anything at all, but its great for little gifts. I think it’s because I’ve always been drawn to little magical things. When you go into the whole spiritual world there’s a lot of trinkets that come along with it. So when I move, I’m always getting rid of trinkets. Plus, Fuego’s vibes bring me back to when Erik Deutsch (Jazz pianist of Erik Deutsch & the Outlaws, Reed’s keyboardist and boyfriend) and I were playing a lot of music in Mexico. He started doing this radio show in Guadalajara remotely, but we’d been touring there and getting into real Mexico not Cancun.”
Main Drag Music
“Main Drag is where I got my guitar that I play mostly. It was the first guitar that I picked out for myself. With my dad being a musician, he would be like ‘Oh, you want to play a guitar? Here I got one laying around.’ So when I found my little vintage 1960 Premiere Bantam Special guitar here, there was something very empowering about picking it out on my own. I think I had always deprived myself of that because I was like, ‘Oh I don’t know what to get. How do you even choose?’ And then I saw it and was like, ‘Oh that’s my guitar.'”
“Make It Easy” is one of the last songs Reed wrote for Chariot, which drops February 26.