Over the past two years THE AWAY DAYS have been slowly been making a name for themselves. The four-piece – hailing from Istanbul, Turkey – have been building a following in Europe and the U.S thanks to support from UK music staples, Noisey, The Guardian, CLASH and more, their delectable and dreamy indie-pop striking a chord with listeners worldwide. Clearly, they are onto something good, and with this year’s release of their debut album Dreamed At Dawn they are only set to solidify Istanbul as an epicentre of great music. We had a brief chat with the band to find out more…
We really liked the sunny pop sound of your latest track ‘Places To Go’! Can you tell us a little about the track itself and how you came to create it?
We were trying to create a bigger sound influenced from ”The Human League” but in a more modern way. It happened so quickly, we just did the song in couple of hours. We wanted to try a melodic and also a “speaky” approach on the vocals for this track.
Another recent track, ‘World Horizon’, shows a more understated side to the band. Do you prefer writing and performing your more upbeat tracks or your more delicate arrangements?
We can say the band’s melodies and feeling are mostly based on delicate arrangements. We also intentionally didn’t put some of our bigger sounding tracks to the album. When you listen to the album you’ll be facing more downtempo and deep tracks probably.
You are about to release your debut album Dreamed At Dawn on 17th February – congratulations! What can fans of your music expect from the release?
Yes! Thank you! Finally, a debut album so people can see the whole story with twelve tracks. There’s obviously a sad story in here but there are also some survivalist upbeat tracks that people can dance to.
You have been a band for four years now; how does it feel to finally be close to having an album out in the world?
It’s not an easy thing to do indie music in Istanbul. It took longer than we thought to find a decent label to support the band for an LP. We’d like to thank to Pasaj Music for this great opportunity and believing in our music. It could be the first time that an indie guitar band with English lyrics have signed with a major record label in Turkey, but we feel so happy now to start the journey at least.
Did you encounter any unexpected challenges whilst writing and recording Dreamed At Dawn? Did these help shape the record?
Actually we recorded the whole album by ourselves in our home. The guitars and the vocals were tough to record without any engineers, so it also took a lot more than we expected. It was an exhausting period for us. It didn’t reflect on to the tracks but it definitely changed the way we organise and made us more disciplined.
What is it like being an indie band in Istanbul? Is there much of a creative scene to offer collaboration and support?
It’s a small scene, hard to survive but growing nowadays. We’re facing lots of difficulties living in Istanbul while being an indie band. First of all it’s so hard to be recognized by international fans without the internet. So we decided to move to Europe in one year, which will be a good move for us.
Have you ever felt isolated in Turkey as a band that pursues indie rock music?
Yes, we did, as there’s no such scene like this. It also made it hard to get fans. I mean it would be much easier for us if were in London or Brooklyn or LA.
How do you hope for the music scene in Istanbul to grow in the future? What can be improved?
There should more and more bands to create more music so that people could start recognize that there’s a scene going on. We’re hopeful about this because it’s getting better.
Are there any other Turkish bands that should be on our radar?
Yes! Please check out Jakuzi – they recently signed with City Slang.
Since forming you have supported incredible artists such as Portishead, Massive Attack, Savages and Belle and Sebastian. Are you big fans of these artists? What was the experience like for you?
Yes playing on massive stages with these artists is a big deal! It was amazing actually, to meet them and get feedback from them is amazing.
You have received a lot of praise in the UK from publications including The Guardian, Noisey, CLASH and The Independent. Why do you think your music connects so strongly with a UK audience?
The UK market is the golden one. So many bands are aiming for UK audiences and we’re aiming for it too. So many of them are thinking that we’re already a band from London or US, probably because the sound influences are mostly based from US and UK. But to be honest, London is our favourite city so far, and we’ll be coming back to play at Shacklewell Arms on 13th April. Cannot wait for that!
How did you meet and what led you to collaborate on The Away Days?
We met at college actually. Our dreams definitely led us to collaborate. We have so much mutual dreams and desires.
Aside from the release of your album, what else can we expect from you in 2017?
We’ll be announcing our first headline European Tour very shortly. And also you might see the band more frequently in Europe as we’re so keen on moving to Europe in 2017!
The Away Day’s play Shacklewell Arms on 13th April as part of Magnetic Moon Festival.