Aya Yves captivates and haunts with her transcendent new single, (in)Sanity, released today and honestly, it’s a bop! I had the pleasure of first listening to this song about a week or so ago, and it’s been stuck in my head ever since!

Aya Yves is the new project of singer/songwriter Vendulka, who has transcended her folk-pop background into this anomalous electronic realm. For those who have followed Vendulka’s journey along the way, (in)Sanity takes you down a whole new path, hence the birth of a new project to break away from any preconceived expectations you would have.

This project was a long-time coming and the release has Aya feeling excited and nervous. “I’m crying through both of those emotions day to day,” she said. I’m super excited to finally start releasing this project. It’s been a long-time coming. I’m nervous for the reaction, but overall, I’m feeling pretty good about it! I’m stoked to not have to keep everything under wraps anymore, that’s for sure.”

Layered with smooth, dreamy vocals and passionate lyrics which tell a tumultuous love story, and a hook that will imprint itself into the minds and hearts of all who hear it, Aya Yves has immediately added herself to the ranks of Australian pop divas such as BANKS and CXLOE with this debut.

Inspired by making the same mistakes over and over, (in)Sanity is a song many of us will be able to relate to sing at the top of our lungs. “Einstein is credited with saying, ‘Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results. I wrote (in)Sanity in the first few weeks of meeting someone and they had pulled the classic, ‘I’m not ready for a relationship’ line. I knew this person was an emotionally unavailable mess and I went into it anyway. I keep seeing them casually, I get feels, I get hurt. Rinse. Repeat. That’s the theme I wanted to highlight throughout the song. When the rose-tinted glasses come on, all sane, rational decisions go out the window.

“It’s definitely a cycle I’m trying to break, but that was my story at the time. I knew that it was going to end badly, but I went into it anyway. I wrote this WHILE I was seeing this person. Imagine the songs that came afterwards! (laughs)”

(in)Sanity captures the levels, limitations and strengths of sanity when it comes to love, posing the question many of us have been forced to face; ‘have we lost our minds?’ The lyrics provide a moment of comfort and unity to everyone who has loved hard and felt broken down by it.

“To me, music has and always will be about creating conversation and connections. Helping people through whatever emotion they’re feeling at the time, be it positive or negative, it’s a way to share in that feeling together.”

As a songwriter, Aya finds her therapy in writing, but she also hopes it can be an emotional release for the listener. “There’s so much power in connection to community and knowing you aren’t alone, but there’s also so much strength in processing your emotions and allowing yourself to feel them however they demand to be felt,” she explained.

Born from a love of pushing boundaries and breaking expectations, Aya contrasts light airy vocals with dark, brooding soundscapes. This project pushes Aya into a whole new musical territory and honestly, I’m loving it! “I think no matter who you are, you’re always evolving and changing. Artists are no different. With the birth of this new project, I felt like it was deserving of a new name. As I’ve been performing for a long time, people who’ve followed me along the way would have a pre-established expectation of image, sound and artistry. (in)Sanity is the first song of this new project and it felt right to have an overall fresh start for this new direction.”

This new sound feels right to Aya and she’s feeling incredibly excited about seeing where it takes her, but she always wants to be experimenting. “I don’t want to meet people’s expectations of who I am as an artist. I want to surpass them. Experimentation equals growth, so who knows what Aya Yves will sound like in the future?”

The change from folk-pop to electronic was pretty organic to this multi-talented musician. “I think I was always headed here, but I resisted because I grew up in a culture where there was always talk and stereotypes of what being a “real musician” entails. It was ‘uncool’ to love pop music. I got to a point where I stopped caring whether it was cool or not and just did what I wanted to do. Pop music is great! I love listening to it and I love making it.”

While Aya’s sound may be forever growing and evolving, one thing that will always remain the same is her passion for lyrical integrity and storytelling, which she credited as her folk-backgrounding shining through. “Story is the most important aspect in the folk realm. I always wanted to be stirring people’s emotions.”

The debut release of her new project is a collaboration with producer Xavier Dunn, whose catalogue also crosses genres and styles (Jack River, CXLOE, Graace, Carmada, Peking Duk). Xavier’s production provides an evocative backdrop, over which Aya Yves’ vocals ripple and flutter, telling a familiar tale of love-induced madness.

“I’ve been following Xav’s work for a few years now and have been such a big fan of his production choices. I feel that he always strikes a great balance of knowing when to hold back and when to push the limits. I was definitely nervous in approaching him, but when I sent him an acoustic voice memo of the song, he was super keen to collaborate.

“Anything I’d ever recorded up until this point was a producer/sound engineer recording where different musicians play their part of a song, rather than building the sounds themselves. It was such a new experience for me and it was so interesting to watch Xav’s creative process. We talked about sounds that I like and artists I wanted to use for inspo, but I just wanted to go with what felt organic and real to me. Xav would try a sound, ask me what I thought and it just kept progressing. I didn’t have any expectations of what the song would sound like walking in, but I loved what it turned into.”

With an EP to follow this single later in the year, Aya Yves is one you’re going to want to keep an eye on. In the meantime, with gigs and festivals being cancelled due to COVID-19 regulations, it’s essential we support our favourite musicians now more than ever. This means when things (hopefully soon) go back to normal, we will be able to see songs such as (in)Sanity live! Every little bit helps!

“I have a playlist on Spotify with local artists that I stream on repeat (silently) while I sleep. I know it’s not much, but every little bit helps! Words of encouragement are great. If you’re in a position to do so, securing a future gig date (weddings, parties, festivals) with a deposit helps your favourite artists pay their rent and buy toilet paper. Do you think someone’s music is great? Tell your friends! More listeners leads to more streams. Most importantly, once this is all over, buy tickets to their shows!”

Listen to (in)Sanity now and tell Aya Yves what you think of her debut!