Victoria Canal’s music flows with purpose and you can’t help but be carried along with it.

Victoria Canal is a young singer-songwriter who has already played all over the world, her music is inspirational, bearing the marks of the places she’s been to and come from. Victoria’s lyrics certainly hold within them a sense of insightfulness, worldliness and wisdom. At 18, she may not hold all the answers, but you can tell she’s thought long and hard about the questions.

While listening to her songs, I feel as if I’m hearing hints of hidden truths. She demonstrated all of this to great effect when she played at a Sanctuary Gig Night at St John’s Church, Hoxton in July 2017. It was her debut with a full band, and the audience were treated to an exceptional show in which her songs were enriched by the accompanying instruments and beautifully enhanced by the resonance that the church offered.

Victoria’s debut EP, Into The Pull, exerts something akin to a magnetic force upon the listener, drawing them into stories, images and feelings that may not be wholly their own but still hold a great deal of meaning. Her songs cover familiar topics such as love, loss and heartbreak, but also an overarching debate about the nature of creativity, success and her place within it all: Can she endure the process? What compromises is she prepared to make? Where will it take her? Travelling the world might be something that Victoria is used to, but this feels like a new journey. By listening to the record you’re able to go some of the way with her.

Victoria Canal | Live Session

The opening track, Unclear, is direct in addressing her difficulty in making decisions, and it ruminates on the loneliness that comes from having to take responsibility for her choices. This song is full of questions about how to move forward, whether to compromise and if the end result will be the one she desires. This questioning establishes the self-doubt that incites a powerful reaction in the second track, Wolves. In confronting her fears, the drums kick up a notch and the music swells to fill the listener with a sense of courage. If the first step in overcoming fear is acknowledgement then this is the song to get you marching.

Track three, City Shoes, is a gorgeous piece of balladry that reflects upon a past relationship. Mournful strings overlay a pumping heartbeat provided by the drums. While Victoria was at St John’s Church in June she recorded a solo session of this song with Go out of Tune, which you can see above. This stripped-back version of City Shoes showcases how effective Victoria’s soulful voice and expert manipulation of the piano can be in evoking the sense of loss that all but the luckiest among us have felt.

Conversely, the penultimate track, Not Afraid, is about the start of a relationship. Perhaps this is something new, or perhaps we’ve travelled back to when those ‘city shoes’ were first put on? In this track Victoria sings about making a declaration of love and the courage required to take a chance on feelings held for someone else. She encapsulates a budding romance perfectly in this song with the determination and adoration in the lyrics coupled with music that builds throughout the song, taking enthralling turns along the way. The moving climax of Not Afraid finally gives way to a soothing resolve, leaving listeners content and hopeful for what might follow.

The final song on Into The Pull is Little Girl, in which there’s a calmness to her vocal, complemented by strings that gently soar and allow the listener to weightlessly float with the music. It seems Victoria might be singing to her younger self, offering some of the assurances that were sought in those previous songs. However, we’ve not just travelled back with her to where we started; we’ve learnt and grown on this journey. While the lyrics go some way to answering the questions from the beginning of the EP some remain unanswered, and we’re left with a sense there are more to come.

Into The Pull is a touching and beautiful debut. I found that Victoria Canal’s music flows with purpose, and I couldn’t help but be carried along with it. If you want to experience what I have, find her online in all the usual places and follow with anticipation of the next chance to see her play live. You’ll definitely be behind me in the queue!