Two years after the success of „Nem Kaldı“, outernational psych-pop sensation Derya Yıldırım & Grup Şimşek deliver their debut album, „Kar Yağar“ - and it was worth the wait! Over the course of it’s 12 tracks, the powerful sound of the Bağlama [Turkish lute] and Derya Yıldırım’s stunning vocals, builds and unravels stories together with the guitars, organs, drums, flute and bass.
Kar Yağar (which translates as „Snow Falls“) has the dynamics of an epic journey through the Anatolian highlands where deep-rooted folk effortlessly switches to sparkly improvisation or dancy pop tracks.
The album was self produced at their studio in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, and the band's tour de force resides in their ability to develop their personal sound and approach whilst keeping their heart tuned to Derya Yıldırım's Anatolian roots.
The album opens with „Üç Kız Bir Ana“ (three daughters, one mother), a smooth, yet epic 5/4 track that introduces the live and psychedelic sound of the band with influences ranging from Anatolian music to 70’s jazz and early prog rock.
The title-song „Kar Yağar“ [written by Derya Yıldırım] is a fresh pop track melodically rooted in the Turkish folk music tradition. The song's lyrics, referring to snow falling in the summer, are an extended metaphor which tells a strong and emotionally charged personal story.
Here, Grup Şimşek bring out their unmistakable signature sound - light and movement inducing tempo, elegant wah wah guitars and magical quartertoned synth licks.
Original songs and instrumentals - all composed and arranged by the band - are scattered throughout the album. Notably - „Seni Hala“, a tear-drawing ballad with stripped-down acoustic arrangement and haunting choir… And Graham Mushnik’s dreamy instrumental „Çocuklar“, in which the band chose to feature a poem by one of Turkey's most renowned 20th century poet Nâzım Hikmet Ran whose title translates as „give the world to our children“. The poem is meaningfully read by Derya’s father Mustafa Yıldırım.
The LP also contains a string of Turkish folk songs, that the band entirely re-arranged whilst preserving their original spirit and soul. In „Ey Şahin Bakışlım“ Grup Şimşek pay tribute to the Alevi culture, a minority community in Turkey for which music - and particularly the Bağlama instrument - has a sacred value. A powerful and majestic version of Mahzuni Şerif’s „Dom Dom Kurşunu“ - one of Grup Şimşek fans’ favourites at live shows - is also featured.