Rock band Altin Gün, which puts a psychedelic twist on traditional Turkish folk songs, had big plans for 2020: compete for best world music album at the Grammys (its second album, Gece, lost to Angélique Kidjo’s Celia), make its Coachella debut and work on its third album in Malibu, Calif. Instead, the sextet spent last year remotely swapping demos with one another while in pandemic lockdown.
Come February, third album Yol will arrive on ATO Records. (The band signed to its first U.S. label in 2019.) Altin Gün was founded by Jasper Verhulst (electric bass) and includes Ben Rider (guitar), Daniel Smienk (drums), Erdinç Ecevit (synths, saz, vocals), Gino Groeneveld (percussion) and Merve Dasdemir (vocals, keys). The group first impressed label GM Jon Salter during a set at the 2018 Gizzfest, the Melbourne, Australia, festival founded by King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard. Salter, like much of the band’s wide-reaching fan base, doesn’t understand its Turkish lyrics, but Dasdemir believes that makes its live shows even stronger.