The prestigious ‘New York Animation Film Awards’ have announced the Jess Cope produced video for ‘An Innocent Man’ has won the coveted ‘Best Animation Music Video’ at the recent awards.
Taken from the debut album ‘Nine Lives’, ‘An Innocent Man’, was recorded by the London based via Northern Macedonia YOVA pair of Jova Radevska (vocal / lyrics) and Mark Vernon (music / guitar) together with arrangements by PJ Harvey, Anna Calvi & Marianne Faithfull collaborator, Rob Ellis (musical box, Ondes Martenot, glockenspiel, celeste, piano, string arrangements, backing vocals), Anna Phoebe (violin) and Nick Holland (cello).
The video was produced by award winning animator Jess Cope of Owl House Studios, who was part of Tim Burton’s animation team for Frankenweenie and has previously worked with Metallica, Steven Wilson, Opeth & Passenger.
Mark Vernon –YOVA
Working with Jess Cope and the super-talented animation team at Owlhouse Studios has been a wonderful creative adventure. One where Jess Cope’s artistry and eye for detail was always to the fore during the making of our video. 
Jess’s resulting animation subtly yet vividly conveys every nuance of the lyric and and music to ‘An Innocent Man’ in a way we couldn’t have imagined possible. Her animated narrative is as both politically thought-provoking as it is emotionally beguiling from start to finish. 
This video is a miniature of timeless animated beauty that brings our song to life.
Jova Radevska – YOVA
 “An Innocent Man” came about so unexpectedly. Not long ago someone had lent me the book ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’. I read it and had no intention of writing a song about it. Once when jamming with Mark, I found myself starting to narrate scenes from the book, completely unplanned, and that was that. With a later refinement of the lyrics, An Innocent Man was born.
Jess Cope – Video Director
“When I was first approached by Mark and Jova I was attracted to the project immediately because of the vocals. Upon listening to ‘An Innocent Man’, I was immediately struck by the sensitivity and innocence in Jova’s vocals and the childlike manner in which the song is approached, musically and lyrically. It really drew me in and conjured up imagery pretty much from the first bar. I usually know within 20 seconds of listening to a track whether or not it is something I would like to take on as a music video. There was no question with this one. It was a wonderful project to work on and I am very proud of the final piece”.
‘An Innocent Man’ represents another string to YOVA’s bow with the song’s childlike innocence set against a backdrop of tragedy depicting a father raising his two children and teaching them lessons about the harsh reality of adulthood and racial inequality.
Featuring nine shape-shifting songs,the band’s debut album, ‘Nine Lives’ features musical contributions from Terry Edwards (Nick Cave, Tom Waits) baritone sax; David Rhodes (Kate Bush, Scott Walker) guitars ; Anna Phoebe (Roxy Music) violin; Alex Thomas (John Cale, UNKLE ) drums; legendary pedal steel guitarist BJ Cole; Ian Olliver; bass, Nick Holland ( Balanescu Quartet) cello, and  Daniel O’Sullivan (Grumbling Fur, Tim Burgess) bass, viola and keyboards. Rich and complex multi instrumentation comes courtesy of the celebrated Rob Ellis, who also plays drums and writes YOVA’s string arrangements throughout. The album notably also features an array of unusual and exotic instruments including the Onde Martenot, the Marxaphone and the medieval Sackbut.

Speaking about how their debut release came to be, Mark Vernon says:

“Once the structure of the nine songs had been written, each song then developed naturally with the musicians, initially Rob Ellis and Daniel O’Sullivan, reacting intuitively in terms of their playing and the instrumentation. In terms of genre, the music of each track is allowed to inhabit its own universe. So there are no pre-ordained or fixed common denominators, other than the voice, the personnel and the song structure. The musicians had the freedom to shape-shift the songs playfully throughout the album. I think of it as nine different rides on a trip to a sonic adventure park.”

YOVA are Jova Radevska & Mark Vernon. Jova Radevska was born and raised in Macedonia. Coming to the UK as a bright-eyed eighteen year old, she found an instant affinity with the UK’s rich music culture and history, with a determination to create her own place within it. Embracing London’s vibrant live scene early-on, it was while performing she was introduced to Vernon for the first time. A seasoned veteran of alternative music, Mark Vernon has both managed and recorded with John Cale amongst others, and also co-produced tracks on PJ Harvey’s debut album ‘Dry’, including the iconic debut single ‘Dress’. On ‘Nine Lives’ he reunites Rob and Ian – the original rhythm section from those recordings. Finding an intuitive writing chemistry with Radevska since their chance encounter, the two will now release their bewitching debut album: ‘Nine Lives’ in 2022, an album full of esteemable artistry and enigmatic allure that will continue to ensnare over repeated listens. 

“We never know where our collaboration will take us” says Radevska of their mercurial songcraft, “This way or that, it is always different”.

In anticipation of the new album, YOVA will be making their live debut together on Wednesday 16 Feb at the Slaughtered Lamb, London. Tickets are on sale now here:

YOVA – Always different. Always the same: Nothing stands still. Not for long.

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