ESC 2017: A (Pretend) Song For Turkey NOW VOTE!

To recap: we’ve got 8 Turkish and Turkish-connected pop songs that come from the ESC 2017 time window and I can solidly recommend all 8 of them. Now what you have to do is pick your favourite three.

Europe, the World, and beyond: Begin voting!

Which of these fab contenders should be our Faux Turkish Eurovision song?

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ESC 2017: A (Pretend) Song For Turkey

Eurovision National Final season is over, leaving us with a yawning seven week gap that we fill in whatever way we can – meticulously reorganising our spreadsheets, planning our parties and getting ready to visit a Kyiv that may or may not be ready for us. 

For various reasons Turkey aren’t competing in this year’s Song Contest, but I’ve taken it upon myself to have a little bit of fun and imagine what sort of field that Turkey could have put together for a National Final this year.

Here’s the rules: the songs will be announced in this blogpost. You’ve then got until MIDNIGHT GMT (or until I get a good suggestion) on March 15th to submit an idea for the wildcard section in the comments. At midnight, a poll will open for you to vote for your favourite shortlisted song. One viewer, one vote. No heart apps here. Just justice.

On Friday evening we’ll have a 3 song super final with a live YouTube listening party in a chatroom.


Here’s the YouTube Playlist.

Yeter – Cenk Tasdemir

Fark Et – Ozge Arslan

Yan Benimle – Sila

Buraya Kadar – Kerim

Red Lipstick Murders – Seven Day Sleep

You Got It – Karmen

O La La – Sinan Cecili ft Ece Serkin

Manifesto – Sezen Aksu

It’s also available as a Spotify playlist.


Some of the songs are from this week’s Turkish Spotify chart, some of them are from the various Turkish themed ‘Edge of’ playlists that are algorithmically collated from new releases. I listened to a bunch of the songs and picked these ones that had a bit of an interesting hook to them or represented a particular genre. I’m sure that the shortlist could have done with a ballad, but I didn’t find one that really stuck with me. It’s 50% bangers instead.

SEND ME YOUR WILDCARDS at @listenoutsiders or in the comments on this post.

Venüs – Billur Yapıcı

I was feeling despondent, because my first pick for tonight turned out to have a really exploitative male-gaze video that didn’t even have a comedy brass band in it, and so I didn’t feel I could post it. We’ve got principles here.

But then this song popped up! It’s Venüs by Turkish electro singer Billur Yapıcı who used to perform as Nükleer Başlıklı Kız (Nuclear Headed Girl) and it is, I think you’ll agree, a pretty great pop song. A nice amount of guitars, excitingly vibrant synths, a chorus that goes wooo-ooo-ooo and a menacing friend in an origami rabbit mask. (If you want a menacing animal mask, I buy all of mine from Wintercroft)

What more could we ask for?

Billur is on Facebook



Hayaletler – Glasxs

There was a bit of fabulous news from Turkey this week – Listen Outside favourites Model are releasing a new album in early 2017 after spending late 2016 on their separate projects.

Because we’ve already posted Mey twice (do go and have a listen if you haven’t yet!) it’s time to recommend something else from Turkey with huge emotional vocals and a sort of 90’s vibe…

Glasxs are an indie-electronica project with a big element of trip-hop. They have an album of English-language songs out soon, but also work in Turkish. The video for their most recent single Hayaletler is part of an ongoing relationship with visual artist A Orçun Can. I like Glasxs, I wonder what’s coming next?

Glasxs have a website

Glasxs are on Soundcloud


Game on: Czechia vs Turkey

It’s Czechia vs Turkey! Today we’ve got two songs which attempt to transmit some sort of universal message through the medium of having civilians lipsync the song in the video.

For Czechia we have Barbora Poláková with the more experimental version of this video trope, which is colour graded to look like a lifestyle magazine and is about how all the young people are burning the candle at both ends and taking too much guarana.

For Turkey we have a song about living your life, doing what you want to do and loving who you want to love, which is quite a good sentiment for the Turkish pop scene. It’s a shame that the Turkish establishment don’t subscribe to it.

Which country has the better song? Czechia or Turkey?

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Generace – Barbora Poláková [Modern, angular song about the travails of a modern stimulant enhanced generation]

Hayat 2 Bilet – Deniz Seki [Inspirational anthem about seizing the day]


Game on: Spain vs Turkey

It’s Friday night. Let’s cut loose with a bit of modern punk stuff.

From Spain, we have Futuro Terror whose press material is so slangy that google translate cannot deal with it, and consequently about whom I know nothing. But they’re raucous and good.

From Turkey, we have Athena who you may recognise,  who appear now to be sufficiently establishment punk to contribute a song to the soundtrack of an animated film. Their song Geblo is catchy and and energetic and I was singing along in terrible phonetic Turkish by the end of the first play.

Is the Spanish or Turkish punk spirit more punk?

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Ectoplasma – Futuro Terror [Spooky punk with a holler-along chorus and splendidly tinny main riff]

Geblo – Athena [Don’t be fooled by the cartoon tie in – full of energy and passion!]


Game on: Turkey vs Croatia

Day 3 of Euro 2016 and already it seems normal to spend every spare minute watching football and listening to fabulous music from around the continent.

Today, Turkey are being represented by Model, whose song Mey is currently in the Turkish Top 10 (we wrote about it before). Croatia are being represented by surf rock superstars The Bambi Molesters. No, wait, they’re really good!

Turkey vs Croatia: who has the better song?

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Mey – Model [Awesomely emotional Turkish rock balladry]

Invasion of the Reverb Snatchers – The Bambi Molesters [Smoooooth surf rock]

Mey – Model

mey in frame 3If we’re looking for a visual and sonic reference point for Model I’ll have to go for ‘Tragic Kingdom era No Doubt, but Turkish’. Mey is their enormous new single for Spring 2016, and according to the Spotify listens, one of their two biggest hits to date.

It’s got a massive chorus that you can join in with even if you don’t speak Turkish, it’s got some very pleasing string arrangements and backing vocals and it builds to a serious intensity. I have had a brief explore of their back catalogue, and while that’s rather good I’m looking forwards to the album following up on Mey. They seem to have been around since 2005, but really for me it’s all about Mey.

I’m also not going to get over-excited about Turkey saying they’re coming back to Eurovision, but if Turkey came back and decided to send a specially written Model song, maybe a massive Turkish rock power ballad, that wouldn’t be a bad choice.

Model have a website

Mey is on YouTube