Gaye Su Akyol (TR)

Courage. Bravery. Daring. Those are the watch words that guided Turkey’s Gaye Su Akyol when she was making Anadolu Ejderi, her first full-length release in four years. Already lauded for her startling, innovative mix of Turkish psychedelia and folk song, surf music and ʼ90s Western rock, a global sweet spot where Anatolian music heroine Selda Bağcan rubbed shoulders with Kurt Cobain, Akyol was ready to expand her vision after a relentless period on the road.

Everything on Anadolu Ejderi – the titles translates as “Anatolian Dragon” – breathes fire. It takes chances, the lyrics offer an exploration of politics in today’s Turkey. The personal is very much part of that. “In a political climate where a woman’s commitment to her passion, to falling in love, to her sexual identity is revolutionary enough, she is deeply passionate and able to express her love freely,” Akyol notes. “It would have been easy to sit in the comfort zone of the past.”

Instrumentally, « Anadolu Ejderi » expands the connection between Turkey’s past and present by incorporating traditional instruments alongside rock elements. Akyol sees this as a chemical reaction, pushing the boundaries of genres she’s influenced by.

With Anadolu Ejderi, Akyol says, “I’m telling stories for the future.” To do that takes courage. It takes
bravery and daring. Listen, and you’ll hear the roar of the Anatolian dragon as it roars.

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