Essential music: Top 5 Turkish albums to listen to this summer

Summer is here, and the sun is shining. Maybe you’re chilling on the beach in North Cyprus or Turkiye or Britain (yes, for a change, the UK is having a proper summer!)? Or perhaps your mood craves something altogether more lively?

For those of you who enjoy exploring new sounds and indie artists, this is my essential selection of sounds for the summer of 2022. Five brilliant albums that encompass everything from alternative rock to rap, electro-pop, Anatolian funk and trap. Happy listening!

  1. Nova Norda: Paralel Evrende Dünya Tarihi 

Nova Norda’s debut album comes in like a stroke of lightning! The electrifying yet apocalyptic active volcano that is Paralel Evrende Dünya Tarihi (World History in the Parallel Universe) frees its burst of emotion with “Pelin”, translating rage of grief into music. A fusion of alternative rock and electro-pop with undertones of trap in her unparalleled style, which is especially evident in the title track “Zorba”, this album is a breath of fresh air.

  1. Lalalar: Bi Cinnete Bakar

Lalalar are unequivocally one of the leading idiosyncratic groups to necromance psychedelic Anatolian rock. Bi Cinnete Bakaris a joyride that’ll turn you into a headbanging madman in the most glorious way with its dark electro dance vibes that are fitting for car chase scenes from a Mad Max film. If you want to let loose to some 70s/80s retro music with a focus on instrumentals, Lalalar is your new go-to!

  1. Güneş: Atlantis

Güneş is a fairly new rapper climbing the Turkish charts at full speed with her lyrically and musically ace debut album. Autotune is heavily, but ideally infused in the predominantly trap/electro-pop combo of Atlantis where the standout tracks are “Dikenlerinle” and “Suçlarımdan Biri” could certainly top Billboard Global 200s if Turkish artists were acknowledged a bit more internationally.

  1. Fasıl-ı Jazz: Elektrofon

Elektrofon has an unwinding effect with the sweet melodies of well-known Turkish folk music like “Uyan Güzel” and Gökçe Tekelioğlu’s soothing vocals. Don’t let the band’s name ‘Fasıl-ı Jazz’ confuse you. This sibling duo, in which Orkun Tekelioğlu does the producing and arranging, loves musical diversity, experimenting with everything from psychedelic rock to Anatolian funk and folk. On a side note, their delightfully distinct covers have yet to receive the recognition they deserve.

  1. Mor ve Ötesi: Sirenler

Not straying from their ethos with new bangers like “Forsa”,Mor ve Ötesi (Purple and Beyond) is one of the prominent alternative rock bands Turkish Millennials and Gen Zs grew up listening to. Sirenler (Sirens) engenders a wave of nostalgia, taking us back in time to the mid-2000s. The album brings itself bang up to date by addressing Turkish youth with political lyrics. The band’s trademark sound remains unchanged, yet more confident than ever with 27 years under their belt.