Turkish Alt-Pop Artist Bade Reconnects to Roots in Self-Titled EP
Bade’s EP is undoubtedly a point of departure for the artist, who is attempting to hone in on her sound in the diversity of fusions she presents.
Turkish singer, songwriter and producer Bade’s self-titled EP carries influences from world music and pop, with themes of self-discovery and spiritual awakening. Released on Istanbul-based independent label, ‘Dogulu Music’, Bade’s 6-track EP is the artist’s attempt to bridge the gap between Eastern and Western cultures while bringing people together through her music.
The opening track, ‘Fragile’, was produced over Zoom by LA-based Nacho Larraza, Markel Badallo and Bade herself, during the pandemic, according to the EP’s liner notes. It opens up with what sounds like a Turkish saz and melody that comes in and out, building a subtle tension that finds release with the artist’s pristine vocals.
The other five tracks on the EP were co-written and produced by Kenan Dogulu, one of Turkey’s leading producers and songwriters. We feel this shift from the EP opener to the next track, ‘Love Back’, where Bade enters with more confidence both in her thematic content and vocal delivery. Slipping slightly into neo-soul, ‘Love Back’ is a heartbreak song, but its minimalistic production and Turkish melodic textures combine with the drum machine to create a song that finds stunning harmonies.
In ‘Hayir’, we further enter Bade’s Turkish culture as she sings in her native tongue in what feels like an experimental trap track. The track's production gives Bade room to present her vocals as she seamlessly switches between Turkish and English.
In the next bi-lingual track, ‘Kendi Kendime’, we start to get a sense of Bade’s keen abilities as a songwriter that knows how to bring the melodies to life with her dual languages. By the time we reach the closing track, a remake of Sezen Aksu’s Turkish classic, ‘Farkindayim’, her range of sounds and influences culminate with a stunning and spacious production driven by gentle keys, delicate handclaps that drive much of the rhythm, and what sounds like a Spanish guitar. Just when the track feels like it might be appropriating a Latin sonic aesthetics while she sings about “going back to her roots”, the track’s production pulls back, and she flexes her text-painting abilities. At this moment, the music shifts gears into something contemporary and not based in any geography as she says, “breaking the mould”.
Bade’s EP is undoubtedly a point of departure for the artist, who is attempting to hone in on her sound in the diversity of fusions she presents. The EP, at times, lacks in aesthetically cohesion, but in many ways, this reinforces the themes of journeying through various cultures to find her way home again.
Listen to Bade's self-titled album here:
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