Fortitude Valley – All Hail The Great Destroyer (Fika Recordings)

Fortitude Valley – All Hail The Great Destroyer (Fika Recordings)

The perfect taster for their self-titled debut album All Hail The Great Destroyer is the new single from Fortitude Valley – a tribute to vocalist Laura Kovic’s rescue cat Maggie and hugely melodic reflection on our recent collective experiences.

Fortitude ValleyArtist: Fortitude Valley
Track: All Hail The Great Destroyer
Label: Fika Recordings
Released: 27 August 2021
Find it: Bandcamp | Spotify

The calendar may tell us different but there is a definite sense in the air that we’re already in the dying days of summer, that a deep breath is about to be taken, and the settling down of autumn is so very almost here. After the last 18 months it feels as if that movement forward is both as inevitable as it ever was, and impossible stuck as we seem to be on the perpetual brink of catastrophe.

In that held moment where all could be won or lost, at that wait for the turn of the wheel, there is no better soundtrack than shimmering, catchy as hell, harmonised indiepop. Step forward then Fortitude Valley, and offer up to us new single All Hail The Great Destroyer. Their previous single might have been the sound of the summer but they’re taking us forward to a new season, and whatever it brings, with this one now.

Formed by Tigercats’ Laura Kovic the band are indiepop royalty with Greg Ullyart of Night Flowers, and Nathan Stephen Griffin and Daniel Ellis both of Martha and Onsind completing the line-up. They rose from the ashes of their former shared label FortunaPOP! and Kovic’s need to overcome a bout of writer’s block.

Having changed things up and written on guitar the sound is one with bite, with attitude, being all fuzzy melodies, and infectious pop rhythms. There’s plenty of ’90s indie rock depth here but echoing through are some post-punk pop refrains – most obviously The The here – lifting it and brilliantly juxtaposing the upbeat against lyrics reflecting our recent  collective experience and hope to be saved. The fact the track is dedicated to a rescue cat who destroys things for fun just adds to the attitude, serious and not at the same time, bursting with love and pride.

Commenting on the track vocalist Kovic said: “At times this past year and a half has felt like we’re all being sucked into a metaphorical black hole. This song is about trying to find little things that bring you joy and holding on to them. We’re all just doing our best to escape the void.”

With such a crack team of musicians gathered here it’s hardly surprising that we’re reaping perfect little indie rock gems. The album – much anticipated – is described as ‘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’. All of that is right here in this track, which pulls us from the jaws of defeat for one last dance, offers us a connection in these highly disconnected times, and on a personal note shows I will always (ALWAYS) hold space for this sort of heads-and-hearts rough-hewn indie rock.

All Hail The Great Destroyer from Fortitude Valley is out digitally now via Fika Recordings. The self-titled debut album is set to follow on 29 October.

Find Fortitude Valley: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Spotify | Bandcamp

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Sarah Lay

Sarah Lay is editor of Popoptica.
A long-standing music journalist she's also co-founder of independent record label Reckless Yes, an author of novels, and when not messing around with words and music, a digital strategist.
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