Following the acclaimed release of ‘Do Not Be Afraid’, and a busy year that cemented the unity of the trio and nurtured their artistic growth, Vula Vielreturn with a new album.
The band continue their sonic explorations around the gyil, the wooden xylophone of the Dagaare from Upper West Ghana, on their brand new set, ‘What’s Not Enough About That’.
Bex Burch (gyil), Ruth Goller (bass) and Jim Hart(drums) continue to forge their own unique fusions. The new tracks stretch out the band’s sound, at times delicate and at others moving into raw post punk soundscapes.
Extensive touring brought the band from London’s most revered alternative venues such as Café Oto and Vortex Jazz Club to the stages of Cheltenham Jazz Festival and WOMAD, the British countryside plus our mainland European dates including Moers Festival, Bezau Beatz, Willisau Jazz Festival and Artist in Focus at Music Meeting, to take the Vula Viel sound to Germany, Austria, France, Switzerland and the Netherlands in Europe for a string of packed jazz festivals – a busy year that cemented the unity of the trio and nurtured their artistic growth.
“My journey with the gyil has always been rooted in the Dagaare traditions”, explains Burch, “but through playing live and developing a tight chemistry together, the band is constantly pushing its own boundaries and finding its own new directions. On this album, I wanted to bring more space into our music and echo feelings and emotions through the ebb and flow of the tracks – reflection, hope, urgency, determination, anger.” The result is an expansive, spacious album which winds effortlessly from the reassuring pulse of ‘My Own Skin’ through to the gently soaring, textured ‘Bird In Kumasi’ and strident closer ‘Six Days In One’.
Lyrically, the messages celebrate mindfulness and our uniqueness as people: “Even not fitting in, I am comfortable in my own skin” on the affrming opening track, while guest vocalist, New York experimental music great Peter Zummo (Arthur Russell, Mitra Sumara) laconically urges us on the title track that life and love is enough to give us genuine happiness; on ‘Forget And Forgive’, Ghanaian palm-wine legend Koo Nimo urges us to reflect, forget and forgive after arguments.
‘What’s Not Enough About That’ marks another major step in the evolution of Vula Viel. The album is released on all formats on 7th February 2020 featuring photography by Alexis Maryon. The album was recorded at London’s Fish Factory and was mixed by Dilip Harris (Sons Of Kemet, Joe Armon Jones).