‘Su Akyol’s voice is light but elegant, and her songs are by turns urgent, sultry and romantic and politically barbed. The new sound of Istanbul.’ The Observer
We are excited to present the Songlines Artist of the Year in 2019, Gaye Su Akyol. The Turkish vocalist has taken the world by storm with music infused by psychedelia, surf rock and grunge. There’s an urgency about her music that betrays the political turmoil in Turkey.
The title of her latest album, İstikrarlı Hayal Hakikattir, translates as ‘Consistent Fantasy is Reality’. On top of it all she delivers a powerful vocal punch and is an electric figure on stage. The Songlines review of her album said: An Istanbul iteration of The Fall, sandblasted by Hawkwind by way of Link Wray. She won ‘Best Artist’ in last year’s Songlines Music Awards.
‘I think the people who are interested in my music are interested in the geography that produced it: the problems about this geography, the pain of this geography. I carry all these things in my music’ says Akyol. This new album ‘is the dream of pure freedom, of showing the courage to be yourself, of looking at the culture I was born into without alienation, a “dreaming practice” propounded into a country and world that is increasingly turning inward and becoming a conservatised prison.’
With the release of her first international album Hologram İmparatorluğu (2016), Gaye Su Akyol established herself as one of Turkey’s most compelling young voices and most exhilarating sonic explorers. Her work as a singer-songwriter, producer and audio/visual conceptualist, simultaneously navigates the storied past, the hyper-connected present and the unscripted future. Following the widespread critical acclaim for Hologram İmparatorluğu, Gaye and her band spent 18 months travelling up and down Turkey, Europe and the Middle and Far East sharing with audiences a vibrant mix of raki laced traditional balladry, futurist surf and post-punk opposition. The new album, produced by her and guitarist Ali Güçlü Şimşek, is arguably more immediate and visceral than the first two, reflecting her and the band’s growing reputation as a powerful live act.