Palmiyeler — PALMİYELER

Sahilde bekliyorum ben. (I’ll wait on the beach)

There’s hardly any surfing in ocean-less Turkey and next-to-none in Istanbul (though it’s not entirely bereft) but that’s not stopping these art-damaged ex-punks from riding along with a style that’s swept the globe since the early aughts.

To be sure, this track does not channel classic Ventures surf-rock riffage, nor is it the same kind of surf/punk amalgamation championed by Wavves or FIDLAR, instead the Istanbul-by-way-of-Izmir quartet pursues a decidedly neo-surf sound in the vein of Beach Fossils, mining this material deeply and with enthusiasm and a keen eye for authenticity, if not necessarily innovation.

What’s the value of innovation in a revivalist music though? Next-to-none. Recontextualizing old sounds to fit modern paradigms is the whole point and to that end, the group succeeds. They might not have access to the Pacific or the Atlantic but they do have the Bosphorus, and it sounds just as reverb-y and dream-y as any other group influenced by a large mass of seawater.

Palmiyeler rides a killer chorused guitar riff, such a crispy strat-into-a-twin tone that Mac Demarco would tip his cap, throughout the song, occasionally dropping out to share the spotlight with vocal turns. The rhythm section, a stripped-down bass+drums combo, plays inventive, agile lines to lay down an earworm-y foundation. The singer’s voice amply bolstered by the sunny instrumental attack adopts an affecting tone, which doesn’t cut through the mix so much as it floats above it.

Like their labelmates Eskiz, Palmiyeler also makes a brave choice in writing their lyrics in their own language, which will limit the appeal of their group, but keep their messaging true to their core audience. Finding a Western audience might be difficult for them but they refuse to beg for the attention, a move which should be applauded. That being said, don’t write this track off from finding mainstream acceptance, the music speaks the kind of language everybody knows.

Quick note: Palmiyeler translates to “Palm Trees”, a tree non-native to the area that occasionally flummoxes backpackers.

RIYL: Beach Fossils, Diiv, post-collegiate whateverism