New album released January 24th 2020 via VKVI Records
Watch the video for new single ‘All That Candy’ HERE:
Janine Shilstone, singer with Glasgow’s own Vukovi, has a simple mission statement for her band’s music.
“I want our songs to let people know that they’re not alone in feeling crazy,” she says. “I want to give people who feel that way a little bit of comfort. I want them to feel less alone. I want to let people know that it’s okay to be weird, and for them not to feel isolated because of it. Our fan base is a beautiful army of weirdos, and I want that to grow. I want them all to feel like they belong here.
“And I want to be a rock star,” she says, laughing.
Vukovi are back. Although they’ve been keeping themselves busy since the release of their widely-praised self-titled debut album in 2017 with storming sets at 2000 Trees, The Pit stage at Reading and Leeds, Y Not Festival, Slam Dunk, TRNSMT and more, plus support tours that include PVRIS, Set It Off and ONE OK ROCK, Vukovi focused their energy throughout 2018 on writing and recording their second studio album – ‘Fall Better’ – set for release on January 24th 2020 via their own label, VKVI Records.
2019 has already given us three bites of ‘Fall Better’, with singles ‘C.L.A.U.D.I.A’ and ‘Behave’ signposting Vukovi’s next phase, while today sees the band award us a third taste with new single ‘All That Candy’ and it’s suitably vibrant accompanying video (which you can view HERE.)
“When writing ‘All That Candy’ I was going through a really angry stage towards my OCD,” explains Janine. “Angry because I physically wanted to hurt this thing which I couldn’t, so talking back and standing up for myself seemed the next best thing. I think our song writing has come on so much since our debut album, but our mental health has got worse. This album is our therapy and we hope it’s going to help a lot of people as well.”
Produced by Bruce Rintoul – in whose spare bedroom Janine recorded some of her vocals – ‘Fall Better’ provides a master class in powerful, melodic song writing penned to a rock beat from which every trace of fat has been removed. Set to pulsing rhythms that extend an invitation to the dance floor to all, songs like the soulful ‘Where Are You’ and the rhythmic and insistent ‘Behave’ do their business at the intersection at which rock, pop and dance music meet to break bread and discuss all the things they have in common. And it works like a treat.
“What we learned from the first album was how to structure songs better,” says guitarist Hamish Reilly. “But from playing the songs live we really learned what works in concert. So, when it came to making ‘Fall Better’ our main thought was, ‘Will these songs work live?’ And they will, every one of them. It’s our intention that we could play every song from this album live. That was the main goal that we tried to achieve.”
“Our music is heavy, but we try to keep it melodic as well,” continues Hamish. “There’s not a lot of atonal stuff on our record. I guess I’d call what we do melodic heavy pop-rock. There are no extended sections and there’s not really any instrumental stuff. It’s just solid three-minute songs for most of the album, and that’s what we wanted man. We just wanted a good batch of songs.”
Throughout ‘Fall Better’, the power of Vukovi’s music and the skill of the band’s arrangements are elevated by the resonant voice of Janine Shilstone and the presence it occupies on the album. With a sense of authority reminiscent of Garbage’s Shirley Manson, Janine is able to take a melody and elevate it to the point of pop purity. Combined with Vukovi’s muscular music, the pairing is ideal.
Many of the lyrics on ‘Fall Better’ are informed by a condition with which Janine was diagnosed in the time that has elapsed between album number one and its successor. A form of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Thought Action Fusion is a disorder that can lead those who have it to believe that their actions are guided by an external presence; in Janine’s case, this presence took the form of a shadow “that makes decisions for me, and decides whether something good or bad is going to happen to me on any given day.”
She says that “I went to see an actual head doctor about it, and he said, ‘Well what is it? Is it here in the room? Can you see it?’ And I said, ‘Honestly, it’s like a shadow. And it’s definitely a male thing….’ I don’t think it’s ever gonna leave me, but I’m up for fighting back now and not letting it get the better of me.”
“What I want from this is to be able to make music for the rest of my life,” concludes Janine.
Pre-order ‘Fall Better’ at: vukoviband.lnk.to/store
‘Fall Better’ track listing:
2. Violet Minds
6. Play With Me Cos I Can Take Me
7. Verify Your Worth
To Support the new album, Vukovi will also be doing the following live appearances.
24/01 IN-STORE HMV in Glasgow *
24/01 LIVE Nice N Sleazy in Glasgow “
25/01 IN-STORE 2pm Assai in Dundee *
25/01 IN-STORE 2pm Assai in Edinburgh *
26/01 IN-STORE Beyond Vinyl in Newcastle *
27/01 LIVE Hyde Park Book Club in Leeds “
28/01 IN-STORE Rough Trade in Nottingham *
29/01 IN-STORE Badlands in Cheltenham *
29/01 LIVE The Frog & Fiddle in Cheltenham “
30/01 LIVE The Fighting Cocks in Kingston “
31/01 LIVE Asylum 2 in Birmingham “