Rarely do bands from Istanbul capture the attention of the mainstream, but The Away Days are getting there, and deservedly so. Fully open about the fact that their name reflects the feeling they have of not feeling at home or belonging, their music has this wonderfully transient, viscous quality, deeply cavernous and deliciously meaningful, as well as being damn good tunes that cause nodding heads and tapping feet. One of my favourite new finds of the year, they are somewhat hypnotic, their songs instantly make your blood fizz, daubing every aspect in stupefying warmth.
Latest single Rumours is one of their most immediate, dabbling in the lo-fi shoegazey fashion, tension bristling in an unflustered but giddylingly exciting fashion. Shimmering guitars wind themselves around gentle chords, creating a delightfully drowsy yet uplifting canon of music. The unrelenting looping bass melody in Galaxies only serves to enhance the vocal crescendo that brims up like a shard of bright sunlight splicing through the room. There is an almost a relaxed air of inconsequentiality, that when combined with the talent and tenacity of the band makes everything even more consequential, a shimmering sheen suggesting that this band do matter. Dressing Room, from their debut EP, How Did It All Start, (which received support from Gary Powell of The Libertines, Ron Lewis of Sub Pop, and Simon Raymonde of Bella Union) clatters with excess energy, Oguzcan Ozen’s vocals sounding more confident than usual, the fragile note that usually pervades being left behind briefly, unlike on Hands, the lyrics ‘you got blood on your hands’ being delivered with what seems like a quiver and a lump in the throat over the syncopated skittering guitar dalliance.
The band are currently recording, working with Eliot James (The Futureheads, Two Door Cinema Club, Kaiser Chiefs), and booking gigs all over Europe and the Middle East. They impressed audiences at SXSW and The Great Escape this year, and it is only a matter of time before they reach the continents again to play.