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From surf-rock to psychedelic sounds: Gaye Su Akyol explores new depths of Turkish folk

Gaye Su Akyol - Anadolu Ejderi (3500).jpg
Album Cover
Tom Pryor Publicity
“Anadolu Ejderi” — translates to Anatolian dragon

Istanbul-based musician Gaye Su Akyol’s breadth of musical influences stretches from traditional Turkish folk to 1960s and ’70s psychedelic beats and surf-punk grooves. One of her earliest musical inspirations was Kurt Cobain, of Nirvana.

So, when it came time to make her fourth album, called “Anadolu Ejderi” — which translates to Anatolian dragon — she took all her influences and created a musical manifesto covering her country’s political issues and the struggles of women and the LGBTQ+ population.

“Anadolu Ejderi” is filled with heavy vibrations from guitars, bass and drums alongside instruments like the oud, violin and the electro baglama, which is a string instrument similar to a lute.

Su Akyol has just embarked on her first visit to the states, having recently performed in Vienna and New York. We talk about her love of surf music, her musical inspirations and what she’s bringing to the stage.

Ian M. Stewart is the transportation reporter and fill-in anchor for VPM News.