After releasing a heap of fantastic EPs over the past decade or so, Blue Mountains raised singer / songwriter IULKA has just released her debut album ‘Queen of Turbulent Hearts’, which also happens to be this week’s Album of the Week!

New single ‘Higher Love’ is a joyous reminisce. “I wrote this song in Nashville when I was falling in love with the city for the first time”, ILUKA said on reflection. “I swear I was on cloud nine for a whole month and this song just came out of that euphoric and transcendent state.” 

The creation of ‘Queen of Turbulent Hearts’ started back in 2019 when ILUKA headed to the US for creative inspiration. Landing in Los Angeles ILUKA quickly made connections and started collaborating. Next stop was Nashville where she teamed up with writers including Trent Dabbs (Kacey Musgraves) and Gabe Simon (Lana Del Ray) and performed a show at famous local venue The Basement. Before too long she signed a global publishing deal with BMG.

It was a chance meeting with US songwriter / producer Aron Forbes (Billie Eilish, Halsey, BANKS) where ILUKA’s hard work all clicked together. “We wrote this song together and from that session onwards, I knew he was the one to bring the whole album together with me. He just got it,” ILUKA said on working with Forbes. “I still can’t believe he ended up coming on board and I couldn’t be prouder of the album we made.”  

The result is ‘Queen of Turbulent Hearts’, a capsule of time for ILUKA which has seen her experience life’s highs and lows, personally and creatively. 

“This record is a culmination of the messy, strange, turbulent but beautiful journey I’ve been on as an artist,” ILUKA said on creating the album. “It’s about coming to terms with the unconventional and the elusive. It’s about throwing yourself into the dizzying wave of life even when you get burned and spat back out, time and time again. It’s about falling out of love only to fall back into it. It’s about the brokenness and the heartache and the longing and the fragility of it all. When everything around us these past few years has felt so suffocating and hopeless, I think this record is my attempt of slicing a knife through the numbness. It’s about finding the pulse again. It’s a celebration of the wondrous peculiarity of it all, and always leaning towards hope,” she concluded.  

On collaborating with ILUKA, Aron Forbes said, “It is crazy to think ILUKA and I made this entire album over zoom and to this day have NEVER been in the same room together! From the day we met I felt an instant connection to ILUKA’s voice. We would just hang out on zoom for hours and throw ideas back and forth via email. It was the closest thing I felt to true collaboration during the height of the pandemic, and I feel the work we did was almost therapeutic to my creative mind. I can’t wait for everyone to hear what we created.”

ILUKA is about to join her good mates and ‘Mess’ collaborators Lime Cordiale as special guest at their Sidney Myer Music Bowl show in Melbourne on 12th April, Sydney’s Hordern Pavilion on 20th and 21st of April and Brisbane’s Riverstage on 6th May.

In exciting news ILUKA has also just announced some headline shows for June where fans can get an in-depth experience of the songs from ‘Queen of Turbulent Hearts’. Starting in Melbourne on Friday 17th June at Yah Yah’s, Friday 24th June at The Vanguard in Sydney and Saturday 25th June in Brisbane at O’Skulligans.

Check out Iluka’s website to find out more!

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