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FORTITUDE VALLEY Sign To Fika Recordings (feat. members of Martha + Night Flowers)

10th June 2021

Durham-based indie punks Fortitude Valley are delighted to announce that they have signed to Fika Recordings and will release their self-titled debut album on 3rd September 2021.

To celebrate the news, the band have revealed a video for their new single ‘Cassini’, which is released on 4th June 2021.

The follow-up to their 2019 debut single ‘Wreck’, new track ‘Cassini’ is a scorching 2 and a half minutes of slacker-rock and power-pop, recalling the eponymous satellite’s lonely final days and fiery self-sacrifice.

NASA’s Cassini–Huygens was launched on October 15, 1997. It took 7 years to get to Saturn, which it began orbiting in 2004, and where it remained until its end in 2017. Staying in orbit meant that it risked one day colliding one of Saturn’s moons, namely Titan and Enceladus (which researchers believe have the potential to harbour life), and contaminating them with Earth microbes. 

Cassini Project Scientist, Linder Spilker, described the end of Cassini’s mission as “like losing a friend”, something that Fortitude Valley’s vocalist and songwriter Laura Kovic can clearly empathise with, as she elaborates: “In September 2017, National Geographic published the article ‘How NASA’s Cassini Spacecraft Met Its Fiery End’. I thought it was so heart-breaking that this spacecraft that NASA had been following for almost 20 years had to be destroyed.”

“In the song, I’ve anthropomorphised the spacecraft and personalised the story a bit, so it’s just between me and Cassini. Cassini is venturing out on a long, lonely journey that will inevitably end in its destruction just so I can see what it’s ‘like out there’. And even though I know how it’s going to end, it doesn’t make it any easier to say goodbye.”

Fortitude Valley is the new outlet for the songwriting talents of Durham-based Brisbanite Laura Kovic. Having spent the majority of her musical career playing keyboards in other people’s bands, bringing their songs to life with a melodic flourish, it was about time for Kovic to find an outlet for her songs: awkward power-pop that’s bound to appeal to fans of The Beths, Weezer or The Weakerthans.

She assembled quite the band, too, teaming up with Martha’s Daniel Ellis (lead guitar) and Nathan Stephens Griffin (drums), and Night Flowers’ Greg Ullyart on bass.

The quartet take their name from Brisbane suburb Fortitude Valley—or just “The Valley” if you’re from Brisbane—the heart of the city’s music scene, and also where Kovic first started playing in bands, before moving to the UK in 2010. “It was a place that objectively felt mythical, a suburb with a special meaning, looking back from the other side of the world and many years later,” she reflects. 

The band will be revealing further details of the album, live dates, and new music over the coming months.

Fortitude Valley’s debut self-titled album is released 3rd September 2021