Istanbul has a deep, layered history. From its beginnings as a fishing village to one of the pillars of the Roman world. The final stop on the Silk Road. The centre of the Ottoman Empire as the Turks spread their huge net across the Middle East. Across the centuries the city drew in cultures and blended them. Growing up there, singer-songwriter Gaye Su Akyol breathed all that in every day, along with her family’s ancient roots in Anatolia. Those rich traditions combine to form part of the sound she’s developed on her album Hologram Ĭmparatorluğu (Hologram Empire), where sultry Turkish melodies twine around spiky, twanging guitars and insistent rhythms.
Gaye Su Akyol has 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. Her album “İstikrarlı Hayal Hakikattir” is her second for Glitterbeat and her most visceral, widescreen and galvanizing album to date.
Gaye Su Akyol was influenced by Greek music from Anatolia and also internalized old music on Turkish Radio Television like the music for Selda Bağcan and Müzzeyen Senar. But also influences like Nirvana, Nick Cave, Joy Division, Einstürzende Neubauten and surf music helped to shape her sound.
This sound is definitely audible on her albums, and surely also during her exhilarating live shows, where she and her band impress every audience with their energetic and hypnotizing performances, which feel vintage and futuristic at the same time.