Words by Garth Cartwright
She’Koyokh have carved out a reputation as one of the UK’s brightest world music bands. These young Londoners effortlessly blend vernacular music from Turkey, the Balkans and Eastern Europe to create a very exciting whole. Klezmer is at the root of She’Koyokh’s sound and ‘Der Filosof/Flatbush Waltz’ is a lovely slice of soulful klezmer sung by tuba player Paul Tkachenko. But rather than endlessly play variations on klezmer tunes, they have expanded their sound into a rich tapestry. In concert, She’Koyokh are never less than brilliant yet their previous studio albums have often felt a little stiff, as if the band freeze up without an audience. Wild Goats & Unmarried Women finds them raising their game, sounding more organic, unhurried, looser and more dynamic.
As ever, the interplay between these eight musicians is superb – clarinettist Susi Evans, guitarist Matt Bacon and violinist Meg-Rosaleen Hamilton weave intricate, complex melodies over an impressive rhythm section, while vocalist Çiğdem Aslan (whose debut album Mortissa was one of Songlines’ picks of 2013) sings with mournful beauty on tunes such as ‘Moj Dilbere’ and ‘Teke Zortlatmasi’. The only improvement I can imagine to the band’s sound would involve them further exploring the more psychedelic, trance-like elements of their music – Balkan raga rock drones. But Wild Goats… remains a hugely enjoyable listen.
Track to Try: ‘Moj Dilbere’