Vika and Linda Bull are finally going back into the studio to record their first album in 14 years.
“We start in July,” Vika Bull tells Noise11.com. “The studio is booked, the producer is booked, songs are done.
Linda Bull is thrilled with the top shelf level of Australian songwriters who have contributed to the album. “In the early days Kasey Chambers was the first with five or six tunes and most of those we are recording. Paul Kelly, Chris Cheney from The Living End. Ben Salter, Glenn Richards from Augie March. We’ve got lots of people we are fans of and will record their songs”.
Vika and Linda’s newfound studio activity comes as they release their first ever compilation ‘Akilotoa’. The title references their family heritage from Tonga. “The title is pronounced exactly as it reads,” Vika says. “It has lots of different meaning in Tongan. It actually means “cascading” in the Tongan dictionary. Our song is a love song sung in the Tongan language. It is about a woman who lost her husband and it’s her yearning for him. It is just a really beautiful word in Tongan”.
For Vika and Linda it seemed like the right time for a compilation. Their six studio and one acoustic album have also been released for the first time to streaming platforms. “It’s like a little stepping stone before we go into the next part of our career. It was always on the backburner. We had productive years and then there’s been a bit of a gap. Before we do a new record we want to acknowledge the past and then we can move on. We are proud of it. It is quiet varied”.
The choice of songs for ‘Akilotoa’ was both easy and hard. “A lot of the ones that were released as singles like ‘When Will You Fall For Me’, ‘House of Love’,” says Vika.
“It was hard actually,” adds Linda. “We had to pick songs that we both liked and personally listened to and the songs that people responded to. It’s a mix of both”.
Linda says, “I really like Vika’s version of ‘The Blue Hour’, the Stephen Cumming tune and ‘Ninety Nine Years’ which is a particular favourite of mine that might not have been given a lot of airtime. If you are fans you might know the song. If you’re not a big listener you might not know it but we love it which is why we put it on.”
In 2019 Vika and Linda Bull were inducted in the Music Victoria Hall of Fame. “We were surprised about that and very happy to stand up and get that award”.
Listen to Akilotoa: