There is something inside, wild & free it reaches out
Reaching for a spiritual connection with their younger selves, “Haunted” imagines what words of reassurance and guidance about the ways of life YOVA would pass on in light of what they know now.
“Listening to the voice within takes us on the right path in life” muses Jova Radevska. “The chorus lyrics tell of that life force, powerful voice as guidance to be followed: ‘There is something inside, wild & free it reaches out’”.
From its skeletal piano-based beginnings to the resplendent, lush string sections that blossom to life over the course of its five minutes, “Haunted” is very much a song for the winter months, but one that holds the promise of brighter times soon to come.
Arriving with bespoke visuals directed by Maltese/British photographer, filmmaker and author Mark Arrigo, the evocative official video for “Haunted” was shot in one-take and captures Jova Radevska in traditional dress, lost amidst the breathtaking and barren landscapes of the Lake District (Eskdale) at the height of mid-winter.
Written by YOVA and sung with the lullaby-like lilt of Macedonian vocalist Jova Radevska, the track features arrangements by her multi-instrumentalist companion Mark Vernon, as well as contributions from legendary producer and player Rob Ellis (ex PJ Harvey / Anna Calvi), plus Daniel O’Sullivan (Grumbling Fur). The strung-out pedal steel guitars also come courtesy of BJ Cole.
“Haunted” will appear on the debut album release from YOVA entitled ‘Nine Lives’, confirmed for worldwide release on 25th March 2022.
Featuring nine shape-shifting songs, ‘Nine Lives’ features musical contributions from Terry Edwards (Nick Cave, Tom Waits) baritone sax; David Rhodes (Kate Bush, Scott Walker) guitars; Anna Phoebe (Roxy Music) violin; Alex Thomas (John Cale, UNKLE ) drums; legendary pedal steel guitarist BJ Cole; Ian Olliver; bass, Nick Holland (Balanescu Quartet) cello, and Daniel O’Sullivan (Grumbling Fur, Tim Burgess) bass, viola and keyboards. Rich and complex multi-instrumentation comes courtesy of the celebrated Rob Ellis, who also plays the drums and writes YOVA’s string arrangements throughout. The album notably also features an array of unusual and exotic instruments including the Onde Martenot, the Marxaphone and the medieval Sackbut.
Speaking about how their debut release came to be, Mark Vernon says:
“Once the structure of the nine songs had been written, each song then developed naturally with the musicians, initially Rob Ellis and Daniel O’Sullivan, reacting intuitively in terms of their playing and the instrumentation. In terms of genre, the music of each track is allowed to inhabit its own universe. So there are no pre-ordained or fixed common denominators, other than the voice, the personnel and the song structure. The musicians had the freedom to shape-shift the songs playfully throughout the album. I think of it as nine different rides on a trip to a sonic adventure park.”
YOVA are Jova Radevska & Mark Vernon. Jova Radevska was born and raised in Macedonia. Coming to the UK as a bright-eyed eighteen-year-old, she found an instant affinity with the UK’s rich music culture and history, with a determination to create her own place within it. Embracing London’s vibrant live scene early-on, it was while performing she was introduced to Vernon for the first time. A seasoned veteran of alternative music, Mark Vernon has both managed and recorded with John Cale amongst others, and also co-produced tracks on PJ Harvey’s debut album ‘Dry’, including the iconic debut single ‘Dress’. On ‘Nine Lives’ he reunites Rob and Ian – the original rhythm section from those recordings. Finding intuitive writing chemistry with Radevska since their chance encounter, the two will now release their bewitching debut album: ‘Nine Lives’ in 2022, an album full of esteemable artistry and enigmatic allure that will continue to ensnare over repeated listens.
“We never know where our collaboration will take us” says Radevska of their mercurial songcraft, “This way or that, it is always different”.