A short moment after forming in August 2020, Nottinghamshire based duo Vona Vella launched their debut single, the blissed out, relaxed summer melody ‘Sun’. The record went swiftly viral, bolstered by a remix by ambient tunesters Morcheeba, an unimaginable feat for a group only just in their infancy. So where next to go after that?
After signing to Peter Doherty’s label Strap Originals and releasing the sumptuous ‘Go Outside Forever’ EP, not ones to ever let the grass grow under their feet, Dan Cunningham and Izzy Davis’ debut album sees the pair drift ever so slightly away from their sun-soaked, jazzy roots and further into the alt-pop realm.
The bittersweet, dreamy quality remains intact – features inherent in whatever Vona Vella seem to create, making them a Midlands version of Angus and Julia Stone, but now fleshed out over 12 ethereal tracks that waft between heartbreak, dizzying love and back again.
Singles-wise, the eponymously titled record has already produced some ginormous sounding songs in ‘Divine’, ‘Thought We Were Falling In Love’ and ‘Intertwined’, all of which capitalise on the woozy romanticism of Izzy and Dan’s combined prodigious talents building up a beatifically insular world, but tucked away in the self-titled LP’s subtle corners are the compelling ‘Ariel’, seeing Cunningham’s voice metamorphosise into becoming Sufjan Stevens-esque and the acoustic ‘Kim’, in which Davis tells the story of a girl forced to dull her shine.
‘Anchor’ is a weighty number with Dan at the lead again supported by Izzy’s enchanting backing and a strong refrain reaching Lewis Capaldi and Dermot Kennedy heights, but the waltzy ‘I Would Do Anything You Want Me To’ and sprightly ‘Telephones’, replete with 1930s film After The Thin Man sample (“You can’t indefinitely go on caring for someone who doesn’t care for you, can you?” / “Well it’s been done…”) hold the understated charm of Vona Vella’s debut, laying out the bareboned gamut of beautiful and ugly human behaviour in relationships using a comprehensive host of musical styles.
Rounding things off by revisiting their formative jazz-tinted mode, final song – the amaranthine ‘Roll Into Forever’ adds a robust dose of folk sensibility into their initial mix, creating the ideal, misty-eyed outro to the twosome’s very excellent debut.
Vona Vella’s debut LP was released on 28th July 2023 and it’s available to listen to on all streaming platforms right now. You can also buy it on vinyl, CD and in a load of limited edition bundles.
We’ve been hot on Vona Vella’s heels for the past couple of years so if you want to read what we thought of past singles ‘Driving To LA’, ‘Rainy Days’, their ‘Go Outside Forever’ EP and the album’s singles ‘Divine’ and ‘Thought We Were Falling In Love’ you may do so.
Vona Vella have also announced their first ever UK headlining tour, calling at the following dates:
17th September 2023 – Glasgow, McChuills
18th September 2023 – Newcastle, Bobiks
19th September 2023 – Leeds, Lending Room
20th September 2023 – Liverpool, Jacaranda
22nd September 2023 – Norwich, Voodoo Daddy’s Showroom
24th September 2023 – Birmingham, The Dark Horse
26th September 2023 – Bristol, The Louisiana
1st October 2023 – Manchester, YES basement
2nd October 2023 – Nottingham, Bodega Social
4th October 2023 – London, Sebright Arms
You can also watch the fantastic Margate-based video for ‘Anchor’ over on YouTube right now. Find a handy link to the video right here: