One of the perks of being a musician is, if you’re so inclined, you can pick your very own nom de rock. There was a time when Elvis Costello, Elton John and Joe Strummer were Declan Patrick McManus, Reginald Kenneth Dwight, and John Graham Mellor. A pseudonym allows you to shed all the baggage of your past, and forge ahead with something new, exciting, and, well, just plain cooler.
Enter L.A.-based multi-instrumentalist Robert Fleming. These days, he creates music under the name Victory. Like other folks with a pseudonym, Fleming’s pre-Victory CV is somewhat of a mystery. His first release under the Victory name was the 2011, seven-song EP Demonstrations. He recorded the record at home by himself, but it has none of the earmarks of a “home recording.” The 60s-inspired tunes are bright and punchy, as is the crystal-clear production. It’s a marvel of what one fella can do musically all by his lonesome these days.
Fleming keeps the music rolling this month with a brand-new full-length out April 23 called Victory is Music. If you’re a TV kinda person, you may’ve already heard the record’s first single, “Play It,” gracing the tube in a recent Cadillac spot. With a deeply funky and buzzy bass line, the tune’s catchy as the flu. There’s a repeating organ line that’s straight out of some obscure 60s South American cumbia record. This is a tune made for dancing. Other tracks on the record show off Fleming’s strong guitar chops a bit better (and a strong vocal resemblance to Britt Daniel), but “Play It” is Fleming having a good time. Whatever Fleming did before he changed his name, this is a tune that shows that Victory is winning.