Fortitude Valley

by Fortitude Valley

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  • Record/Vinyl + Digital Album

    Limited edition 12" red vinyl, with printed inner sleeve including lyrics.

    Includes digital pre-order of Fortitude Valley. You get 4 tracks now (streaming via the free Bandcamp app and also available as a high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more), plus the complete album the moment it’s released.
    shipping out on or around October 29, 2021
    edition of 500 
    Purchasable with gift card

      £16 GBP or more 

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  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    Includes digital pre-order of Fortitude Valley. You get 4 tracks now (streaming via the free Bandcamp app and also available as a high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more), plus the complete album the moment it’s released.
    shipping out on or around October 29, 2021
    Purchasable with gift card

      £10 GBP or more 

    You own this  

     

  • Digital Album
    Streaming + Download

    Pre-order of Fortitude Valley. You get 4 tracks now (streaming via the free Bandcamp app and also available as a high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more), plus the complete album the moment it’s released.
    Purchasable with gift card
    releases October 29, 2021

      £7 GBP  or more

    You own this

     

1.
There’s something going on, I think we both know it’s been gone on way too long All of the feeling’s gone, There’s no chemistry Who is responsible? You're looking guilty And as far as I know I never a played a part in any of this Can you see that, baby, I’m afraid That every choice that I have ever made Has led me here but there’s nothing I can do You’re everything to me I’ll never be to you So what’s the story? Did you ignore me Or was it unintentional? Did I mistake you for an arsehole? Can you see that, baby, I’m afraid That every choice that I have ever made Has led me here but there’s nothing I can do You’re everything to me I’ll never be to you I still get lonely I can’t remember what my life was like before Was I too boring? Was I soul destroying? Can you see that, baby, I’m afraid That every choice that I have ever made Has led me here but there’s nothing I can do You’re everything to me I’ll never be to you Oh, you’re everything to me I’ll never be to you Oh, you’re everything to me I’ll never be to you
2.
Wreck 02:52
It’s in the silence that I start to fall apart I hate the way you’re running rings around my heart I’m growing tense, I feel ashamed Will I ever be myself again? I don’t know if I’ll ever be myself again I’m a wreck This could kill me, I should quit while I’m ahead And give in But if I don't play there’s no way I can win There’s something in your voice that makes me feel so small Why do I care about things that are trivial? I’m throwing caution to the wind I don’t know how it will end No, I don’t know how it will end I’m a wreck This could kill me, I should quit while I’m ahead And give in But if I don't play there’s no way I can win One good turn deserves another You don’t feel the same, but I’m still in love, oh
3.
All hail the great destroyer Regret and paranoia I never wanted to make this awkward Shut down and then I caught ya Hiding out like you always seem to do You see me, but I can’t see you Won’t you please come and rescue me? I’ve spent too many years in this black hole, baby Oh please come and rescue me Now time is folding in and I can’t escape it I’ve got no motivation, My confidence is shaken. I gotta modify my expectations, This situation’s taken Me somewhere that I really don’t want to be I see you, but you can’t see me Won’t you please come and rescue me? I’ve spent too many years in this black hole, baby Oh please come and rescue me Now time is folding in and I can’t escape it
4.
The Right Thing (Part I)
5.
It's The Hope That Kills You
6.
Cassini 02:26
Countdown Until we let go You had it coming You’re going solo An expedition of the lonely; engines ignite You’re on a mission, baby, better play your cards right Think back October fifteen The day you left me I thought it was a dream Send me a picture of the planet that you’re orbiting I’m still here and you’re going on to better things Don’t destroy yourself for me I just wanna know what it’s like out there, Cassini Don’t destroy yourself for me Oh, I just wanna know what it’s like I just wanna know what it’s like Silence Another broken heart Did you feel anything When it tore you apart? Even though we knew that someday you would disappear  It didn’t make it any easier Don’t destroy yourself for me I just wanna know what it’s like out there, Cassini Don’t destroy yourself for me Oh, I just wanna know what it’s like I just wanna know what it’s like
7.
What You Wanted
8.
I Won't Survive
9.
Forget About Me
10.
It's Not U, It's Me
11.
The Right Thing (Part II)

about

“Writing songs on guitar and being the front person for a band is a new thing for me,” admits Fortitude Valley front woman Laura Kovic, laughing “I’ve never been in charge before!”

With a musical restlessness setting in over the past few years during her time as the keyboard player of East London indie pop band Tigercats, Kovic might not be used to being the boss, but she doesn’t seem to be letting that get in the way. 

After experiencing writer’s block for a couple of years, she took the bull by the horns, as she explains, “Finally I bought a guitar in February 2018 to see if doing something different would help me...and it did!”

Kovic cemented the band’s line up by recruiting mutual friend and bassist Greg Ullyart from Night Flowers, meeting bandmates Nathan Stephens Griffin (drums) and Daniel Ellis (lead guitar) of Martha/Onsind through their shared label home on now sadly-defunct indie bastion Fortuna POP!

“I played in Mikey Collins’ band with Greg, but our first band together was a Blur cover band called Bleurgh...funnily enough, our first show was opening for Martha!” she recalls.

Named after an area of her home town in Brisbane, Australia, Fortitude Valley is a fitting moniker for the songwriter’s first outfit, who says: “It’s essentially the heart of the music scene in Brisbane, and it’s where I first played a show. As a place, it’s always had a special meaning to me.”

Combining elements of power-pop, indie-pop, pop punk and indie rock, their diverse approach takes influence from the likes of Weezer, Belle & Sebastian, The Beths, The Weakerthans, and Pavement.

“In the past I’ve usually written more gentle melodic pop songs,” explains Kovic, “but I’ve tried to move away from that slightly on this album and experiment with adding more deliberate bite to my songwriting. Nathan, Daniel and Greg definitely helped to make it more punk. Compared to the other bands people might have heard me playing in, it probably has more of an indie rock vibe.”

Addressing those bouts of writer’s block which have plagued her over the years, she says: “I’ve always tended to write in bursts of productivity, then go for long periods without writing anything. The strange thing about this album was that we were ready to record the last four songs in April 2020, then the pandemic hit and we couldn’t finish it, and in the intervening period I ended up basically scrapping some of those songs, and writing new ones instead. My rescue cat Margie has been a great source of inspiration!”

Recording in two stints during 2019 and 2021 with a COVID sized hole in the middle, the band’s forthcoming self-titled debut album was laid down between Soup Studios in London, Rocking Horse Recording Studio in Durham, and the members’ respective homes. The album was recorded, engineered and produced by Giles Barrett and Neil Combstock, mixed by Michael Collins, and mastered by Dave Williams.

Addressing themes of the passage of time, friendships and relationships growing apart, and feelings of insecurity, depression, and anxiety—as well as searching for love and salvation—the album is very much a product of our times.

With songs ranging from recent single ‘Cassini’, about the doomed spacecraft, to ‘All Hail The Great Destroyer’, a tribute to Margie the rescue cat who destroys everything for fun and is “an absolute legend”, it’s an album that’s packed with pathos, humour, and hope.

“The fact that we recorded half of the album before the pandemic hit, and then the other half a year and a bit into lockdown life, those ideas of being stuck in a rut, and looking for salvation, have definitely become more prominent themes,” says Kovic, “but those were there already to some extent. Thinking about time running out has become much more real when everyone has lost a year of their lives (or much worse) to the pandemic.”

And now, with time no longer seeming like such a precious and pressured commodity as we all take a step towards COVID being a thing of the past, what does the future have in store for Fortitude Valley?

“We’re playing End of the Road Festival in September and Twisterella in Middlesbrough in October, but that’s all we have booked in for now,” says Kovic reservedly. “I'm cautiously optimistic about being able to do more when things are safer!”

As for Kovic’s continued never-say-die dedication to the underground rock scene? You can take the girl out of Fortitude Valley, but it seems there’s no taking Fortitude Valley out of the girl...

credits

releases October 29, 2021

Fortitude Valley are:
Laura Kovic - vocals, rhythm guitar, keyboards
Daniel Ellis - lead guitar, vocals
Greg Ullyart - bass, vocals
Nathan Stephens Griffin - drums, acoustic guitar, vocals

All songs composed by Laura Kovic.
All lyrics by Laura Kovic, except All Hail The Great Destroyer by Laura Kovic and Nathan Stephens Griffin.
All songs arranged by Fortitude Valley.

Cassini, What You Wanted, I Won’t Survive, Baby, I’m Afraid, Wreck and It’s Not U, It’s Me recorded by Giles Barrett at Soup Studios, London.
The Right Thing (Part I), All Hail The Great Destroyer, Forget About Me and It’s The Hope That Kills You recorded by Neil Combstock at Rocking Horse, Durham.
The Right Thing (Part II) recorded by Laura Kovic.

All songs mixed by Mikey Collins at Big Jelly Studios, Ramsgate.
All songs mastered by Dave Williams at Eight Floors Above, Ottawa, Canada.  

Cover art and all band photos by Sonny Malhotra.

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Welcome to Fika Recordings! We're a London based DIY record label, releasing glorious indiepop, folk and more...

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