Premiere: The Phenomenal Beauty of Victoria Victoria’s Enchantingly Vulnerable ‘When To Talk, When To Pray’ EP

Victoria Victoria © Amy Badgett Beck
A phenomenal pop EP full of life, love, and intimacy, When to Talk, When to Pray finds Victoria Victoria basking in the harrowing, beautiful depths of vulnerability.
Stream: “When To Talk, When To Pray” – Victoria Victoria




I used to know when to talk, when to pray… I think I lost my connection with outerspace.

Victoria Victoria’s new EP is so much more than stories of personal reclamation and renewed self-identity: It’s a return to one’s roots, baked in with the discovery that those roots have grown. It’s a transition to a new normal, full of the comfort and knowing of home life, coupled with the excitement and trepidation of peering into the unknown. A phenomenal pop EP full of life, love, and intimacy, When to Talk, When to Pray finds Victoria Victoria basking in the harrowing, beautiful depths of vulnerability.

When to Talk, When to Pray - Victoria Victoria

When to Talk, When to Pray – Victoria Victoria

This is a sanctuary,
I know better to let you in
I know better to let you in
This is holy ground
I know better to keep you around
To set a table for my doubts
I’ve got it bad, I’ve seen the light
I speak much clearer when it’s night
I’m teaching myself
– “Sanctuary,” Victoria Victoria

Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering Victoria Victoria’s When to Talk, When to Pray EP, independently out October 25, 2019. Already an Atwood Magazine favorite, Victoria Victoria are based out of Winston-Salem, North Carolina and features lead vocalist, keyboardist. and songwriter Tori Elliott weaving wonders alongside her longtime friend and musical partner Hannah Riggin, her brother (and synth player) Noah Elliott, and her husband (and electric guitarist / producer) Ethan Gingerich.


In our premiere of the EP’s lead single “Sanctuary” earlier this year, Atwood Magazine praised the single as a “raw reclamation of self-worth dressed in a heartfelt indie pop glow,” describing the song as “simple, yet effective in sharing the beauty and strength each of us holds within.” One of five tracks on When to Talk, When to Pray, “Sanctuary” soars with glistening melodies and a deep groove as Victoria Victoria pour their hearts out. Of course, this is neither the first, nor the last time the band take our breath away on this record.

I’m gonna let all of you hear me
I’m gonna let all of you hear me
I’m gonna let all of you hear me
Will you listen, will you listen?

Should I stay or should I go,
Just sleep in my bed, then we’ll know
If we try hard at least we tried
Make connections, speak your mind

– “Roller Blades,” Victoria Victoria
Victoria Victoria © Amy Badgett Beck

Victoria Victoria © Amy Badgett Beck



Opener “Roller Blades” is itself a literal opening-up of sorts and a faithful introduction to a heart-on-sleeve record full of personal outpourings and truths. In the poignant, horn-splattered confessional “Outer Space,” Elliott laments her loss of connection to a deeper spiritual core, while in fact finding a new ground to stand on. She sings sweetly, her voice overwhelmed with emotion:

When did I get sleepy
When’d we move those boundaries?
I’ve tried to atone these days
Worry is far from me
I won’t strive for pleasing
Can we go back on our mistakes
All that I really want for my birthday
Is a bit of childlike faith
I used to know when to talk
When to pray
I think I lost my connection with outerspace
– “Outer Space,” Victoria Victoria
Victoria Victoria © Amy Badgett Beck

Victoria Victoria © Amy Badgett Beck



Salvation seems to come to Victoria Victoria not in any song in particular, but rather in the combined package their EP represents. “If I try to find you, will I find you?” the band ask repeatedly in “Find You,” like souls wandering around in search of that deeper understanding of oneself and the surrounding world. While the gospel-like organ sounds and rich harmonies reflect a religious component, this song’s message is as much about finding external answers as it is scouring our own inner depths for self-knowledge and comprehension.

I’ve been patient, I’ve been kind
I have kept an open mind
For the ones I love the most
Am I foolish, am I blind?
Pull the plank out of my eye
We want justice, they want love
They want freedom from above
But I know, oh I know
I’m a woman just because
You said I am and that’s enough
– “Find You,” Victoria Victoria

When to Talk, When to Pray concludes in a movingly stripped-down piano ballad. Tori Elliott reminds us what love really means in “Magic,” a stunning moment of certainty amidst an ocean of doubt. Singing to a lover, she recognizes the toil and trouble we go through in adulthood, and the many things we lose or leave behind in that process. She’s been striving to find her footing throughout the EP, and in this final breath, we see that longing for childlike innocence and unabashed wide-eyed wonder spelled out in a hauntingly beautiful musical memoir, where love itself has brought back that youthful glow and love itself seems to be the answer – or at least, the catalyst to get us where we want to be.

Magic, all I see is magic
All I see is you
It’s true, this is what lovers do
I used to sing the stars
I used to dream and banish fears away
I used to write for fun
I used to play piano every day
Why do we stop to make ends meet
I don’t know…
…I don’t know how to get famous
I don’t know how to sell music
I don’t know how to get me name out
But it’s magic when I play piano
Alone in my room
No one can hear me
Only God is listening
This is what lovers do

Directed by Griffin Davis, the “Magic” music video manifests the song’s intimacy with dimly-lit shots of Elliott lying on a dark, cold floor, only to be ultimately lifted up as if by some otherworldly force. Floating toward the sky, her body limp and yet stunning in the simulated moonlight. Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering this powerful music video alongside the entire EP today:


With this reckoning bringing their five-track experience to an end, Victoria Victoria find bittersweet, touching closure to a emotionally turbulent soundtrack.

I’m gonna let all of you love me… I’m gonna let all of you hear me…” Tori Elliott told us back in the EP’s opener “Roller Blades.” By the time the band close this record, that prophecy seems to have come true: Victoria Victoria have surrendered their souls in songs of individuality, insecurity, and spiritual longing, and Elliott has spilled more of herself on the page than ever before. We’ve heard all we could possibly hear, and if ever we were going to love Victoria Victoria, the time is now.

When to Talk, When to Pray is a spellbinding, emotionally enriching and sonically cohesive musical journey. A seductive and uplifting experience, it’s Victoria Victoria at their musical and lyrical peak – a truly humbling, dazzling immersion worth hearing again and again.

Stream Victoria Victoria’s When to Talk, When to Pray EP exclusively on Atwood Magazine, and don’t miss a beat from this exciting artist-to-watch!

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Stream: “When To Talk, When To Pray” – Victoria Victoria



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Mitch Mosk

Mitch is the Editor-in-Chief of Atwood Magazine and a 2014 graduate from Tufts University, where he pursued his passions of music and psychology. He currently works at Universal Music Group in New York City. In his off hours, Mitch may be found songwriting, wandering about one of New York's many neighborhoods, or writing an article on your next favorite artist for Atwood. Mitch's words of wisdom to fellow musicians and music lovers are thus: Keep your eyes open and never stop exploring. No matter where you go, what you do or who you are with, you can always learn something new and inspire something amazing. Say hi here: mitch[at]atwoodmagazine[dot]com