Quest update: Aylin Aslım

I mentioned a while back that I’m on a mission. Just for my own piece of mind, I want to know that there’s a new generation of great rock stars out there – people that 13 year-olds in 2010 are wanting to be when they grow up. Rock ‘n’ roll, as I deemed it, was “knock-out charisma, a sense of poise and glamour that radiates from a good-natured personality, an exuberant sense of joy, and a certain forthright sensuality”. That the music has to be great goes without saying.

Today I found myself just wanting to hear something good, quickly, and idly searching youtube for Aylin Aslım, who I’ve mentioned before when I loved her Gülyabani album. I realised very quickly that while she’s not my personal X-Factor winner, she’ll make the Final Twelve.

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The thing I like most about Aylin is that she basically just does not give a f***.

I don’t know anything about her personality and I don’t understand Turkish so I don’t have the slightest idea what she’s singing about, but in terms of sheer nonchalance she’d give Lady Gaga a run for her money. The first hurdle at which almost everyone falls is that they try too hard. Like Gaga, Aylin can dress up in wacky costumes or just saunter around in a bikini and look equally comfortable. She can channel anyone from Lacuna Coil to Cardiacs without seeming to switch gear.

Her dance-music records are generally a lot less interesting than her rock recordings, but such an eclectic mix is inherently far more interesting than the achingly dull “singer-songwriter” music she could so easily have fallen into. Two of her top 13 friends on MySpace are Salad and dEUS, so if you spent the 90s listening to those, you’ll very likely enjoy Aylin’s music.

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One of the things that charms me most is the range of emotions evoked and expressed by her music. As mentioned, I don’t understand a single word of the lyrics, but I don’t get that sense of repetition of content that puts me off a lot of acts. Music that is just angry or just sad gets extremely boring in a matter of minutes – probably a reason I never bought a full album by Hole or Rage Against The Machine. There’s plenty of rock posturing and volume in her output, but also a highly welcome sense of fun.

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Aylin is distinctive in a sea of uniformity. She’s not as innovative as someone like Björk, but I don’t think there’s anyone quite like her at the moment. I guess she’s more like the new Shirley Manson.

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Gülyabani remains my favourite track – it’s truly one of the best I’ve heard in a very long time – but I hope she’ll exceed that at some point and I’m very interested in hearing more. I have no idea how popular Aylin Aslım is, or whether Turkish teenagers are singing her songs into a hairbrush, but I really hope that she’ll be heard by as many as would like her, and – most of all – that there are more people of her calibre out there.

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