She Got Caught
She Got Caught is available at:
23rd July, 2015
The E.P. She Got Caught is available at:
Vocals-guitars-keys etc.: In Hoodies
Drums and percussion: Aliberk Aslan
Programming-String arrangement-Keyboards: Tim Wills
Bass Guitar: Martyn Campbell
Lead Guitars: Si Connelly
Violin -Viola: Mike Sidell
Cello: Ben Trigg
Written and composed by Murat Kılıkçıer
Recorded at Shed Studios (except bass and drum tracking; at Kore Studios) -London
SGC mastered by Ian Cooper; My Con mastered by John Davis at Metropolis Studios – London
TODAY marks both a milestone and a departure.
This will be my first review (of a Turkish artist). Until recently, my European-based reviews have centered on U.K. artists: last week I assessed a French band (Archi Deep and the Monkeyshakers); today is the time of Turkey- a country whose music/musicians I am not overly-aware of. Having been contacted by In Hoodies’ lead- he has a connected with Goldbirds’ Si Connelly (a band and man I am affiliated and familiar with)- it has been great investigating a brand-new sound; from a nation (in musical terms) unfamiliar to me- to see what Turkey is offering. Before I get to my featured artist, I have been thinking about certain artists; how Rock and Alternative music is portrayed- and the male solo sector. Let’s start with the issue of Rock and Alternative music. In today’s market, those genres tend to be band-led: there are few solo artists that play this genre; that tends to be focused around Pop/Folk/Electro. themes. It is a generalisation, yet one that holds firm: most solo acts in general steer away from Rock and Alternative sounds. In the mainstream, the likes of Jack White- and his Blues-Rock anthems- sit alongside Beck and Frank Turner; Pink and Lorde could be included- to be fair, it’s a short list. If you think about it really: can you name a list of new male solo artists (who play in the Rock/Alternative realm)? I am not sure why this phenomenon exists- I guess it is easier to portray genuine Rock backed by a band- but loneliness/solo music tends to attract a certain ‘vibe’: sounds that portray longing and romance; introspection and desire- the Rock/Alternative market appeals more to the band; sound more tempting to them. The male solo market in general is somewhat hit-and-miss: I touched upon it previously; it seems the quality is somewhat lacking- the female market is a lot more prosperous and varied; more dependable and reliable. It is something that has to change- the predictable plight/sound of the solo artist- and brings about a revival of sorts. The new music scene is quite burgeoning and prodigious: if you ferret around and dig; you will find genuine quality and longevity; artists that go that extra mile- and come across as genuinely innovative and new. The mainstream is a little stagnated (at the moment): there is a leaning towards certain acts/genres; little mobility and sense of surprise- no surprise the last few years have been particularly slow (when it comes to fantastic albums and acts). It is no one’s fault, particularly; I guess it is a rough/mediocre spell- perhaps the tide will turn in years to come? What is embracing is the ambition of new music: over the past few months, I have witnessed (lots of great acts) shouting their intentions; fusing genres, styles and era- producing music of the highest order; defined by merit and emotion; meticulous detail and endless passion. In Hoodies is both an unknown quantity (to me) and a bit of a forbearer: an artist new to my mind; someone who could bring about a revival- and inspire more (similar acts) to come through. Last week I reviewed Bee Meru- built from the disintegration of Saturday Sun- who is (bar some additional musicians) a male solo act- and sounds better/different to most other music out there. In Hoodies has slipped under the radar; managed to escape the mainstream lense- this will change in time, for sure. The young Turk has a very particular image and artistry: paintings/graffiti-style images (of our hooded) hero; each image/publicity shot seems to be reflect a different art/genre style- from Manga to black-and-white drawing. Murat (the man behind the hood) is based out of Istanbul; a city that is growing as a music centre; showcasing some great music- attentions should be focused here. When reviewing Electro. artist ADI- who is based in Tel Aviv, Israel- I was stunned by the quality (coming from the city); how few listeners/media sources look here- one of Asia’s most flourishing and innovative musical centres. Whether Istanbul (and Turkey) gains attention and credit- and diverts media eyes from the U.S. and U.K. – is hard to say; with the likes of In Hoodies coming through; this can change soon enough. Although his social media pages are a little sparse- a few photos with little biography/background- his official site is eye-catching and humorous; fascinating and insightful- given a glimpse into the young artist’s mind. The E.P. She Got Caught has been picking up buzz and attention; reviewers and listeners have latched-onto its layers and sounds; that mix of force-cum-intelligence- responded to its sense of endeavor and ambition. Not just a great release (in its own right); the music contained not only could inspire more up-and-coming Alternative male acts- it could lead to mainstream shake-up; have the solo market undergo a renovation- and lead to a less homogenised (male songwriter) scene.
In Hoodies is pretty new on the scene- his E.P. is the first real recorded music- and making those first steps. It is hard, therefore, to look back; see how he has developed- and how his music has changed. For that reason, it is worth assessing the sound in the context of existing acts: where it fits in (genre-wise); which other acts coming to mind- whether She Got Caught is worth the time. Addressing the latter point; the E.P. (only being two songs) shows a small window; a glimpse into his psyche- what is motivating him. The E.P. looks at relations and romantic inner-workings; longing and desire- not portrayed in a predictable or usual manner. In the mainstream- and artists that play the same music/style as In Hoodies- there is a tendency towards narrow themes/ideals: the lyrics tend not to stick in the ear (neither poetic or striking enough) and seem somewhat over-predictable. The music has that similar fatigue and lack of ideas: not true of all artists; there is an over-reliance on a certain way of working. In Hoodies has a sound that will appeal to lovers of the Indie/Alternative/Rock milieu- and the current crop of artists- as his sound is contemporary and modern; he goes beyond what is expected; coming up with something with a unique twist. Just seeing his official website; you get the sense of a young man with a love of words and emotions: his poetry/haikus and scribblings have intellectual properties; twisted and skewed ideas- vivid scenes and emotional depth. Not an artist with a rhyming dictionary and a list of clichés, this radiates in the music: the lyrics and scenes surpass the (somewhat bogged-down) vague metaphors and overly-familiar themes; the lyrics we have all heard before- and can quote with our ears closed. In Hoodies’ music has a mixture of familiarity and distinction: the compositions have a radio-friendly edge; there is a contemporary vibe- albeit with an edginess and home-made sensation. Based in Turkey, In Hoodies (is of course) familiar with British/western music; the sounds coming out- he mixes that with something homely and self-made. What captivates me (when it comes to his music) is the richness and depth. Going past what is expected/represented, In Hoodies brings exceptional music (and multi-talented musicians) into the fold; understands the importance of musical range and support- thus eliciting the biggest emotional reaction. Semi-symphonic with an air of fragility; She Got Caught is as vivacious and intriguing as (its E.P.) cover- there is an underlying mystery and ambiguity behind everything. It takes several listens- if you want to get to the bottom of each song- music that demands concentration and attention. If these facets appeal to you; if this is what you seek (when hunting for a music muse) then call off the search party- here is the man for you. When it comes to male-driven solo acts, there are few true originals (when it comes to Alternative flavours) so In Hoodies provides a much-needed breath of air.
A plaintive and tender guitar stroke welcomes She Got Caught in: it bristles with tease and swoon; romantic undertones and calm. The mood then swells and builds; the guitars become more fevered and uplifted- the composition cracks and expands with a breathless passion. Without a single word being spoken; the composition says so much: able to reflect a sense of reflection and longing, the coda gets inside the mind- and sucks the listener in. Our hero is coming alone; coming to take chances: early words are delivered with a sense of inner-focus and refrain. Whereas a lot of contemporaries let introductions linger on; showcase little emotion in the early stages- In Hoodies ensures the sapling exchange builds up momentum and speculation. It seems the heroine- or subject being referenced to in the song- has “a plan”: you picture a coming-together or conversation; the two conspiring and conversing- maybe the heroine has set a challenge; declared an ultimatum. There is a certain obliqueness and openness to the initial lyrics: allowing the listener to picture their own ideals; allowing some interpretation and subjectiveness. The production values allow each note and vocal to come through strong: not mixing things low; cramming too much in, there is a naturalness and professionalism: everything is crisp and clear; there is plenty of atmosphere and (room to) breathe- the song swims and flourishes with conviction strength. Caught and left in the rain- not feeling different or renewed- our hero increases that enigma and secrecy. Backed by river-deep and autumn-vibed strings, the track has a quasi-orchestral sound: it is never overwrought or fake; each instrument elicits stunning emotion and clarity. The song’s heroine expounded pretty words: our man advised rest and breath; take a break and take it easy- again, your mind wonders and speculates; what is being referred to? In the midst of investigation and detective work, it is impossible not to be caught-up in the composition: it is sparse and gentle; has an addictive little lick- a sun-kissed undertone that is both calming and impassioned. It seems the heroine has been through a tough experience; maybe life is taking a bad turn: she has been caught in the “eye of the storm”; in need of rescue and relief- our hero’s voice seems genuinely sympathetic and supportive. In the accompanying video for the track (on YouTube) we see our man walk a forest; across the evocative scenery- in a hoodie and mask (looking like a Medieval warrior-cum-urban-gang-member) we see a woman on the ground- he reaches down to place a mask (on her face; a symbolic and romantic gesture). Perhaps that is the background to the song; the real reason for events: our man can hide behind a persona; distance himself with his music (in a good way: reflect his pain through the songs) – our heroine seems bare and exposed; in need of communality and togetherness. Maybe I am reading into things too much; it seems like ghosts are haunting the girls- spirits and haunt that “no-one knows.” Reminding me of early-days Badly Drawn Boy (that vocal tone and melody) She Got Caught never needs to race or volumise: the stunning composition and gripping vocal does all the work- builds up fascination and loyalty. Still gripped by the song’s video- which transforms and sees the two standing; both wearing masks it has an odd air to things. Both spiritual and filmic (there are edges of Japanese animation) it is a beautiful video: highlighting the song’s sense of beauty and individuality. The two sweethearts stand aside one another; our hero is lending a hand- all the time, you feel the two drifting apart. A song that speaks to lovers and strugglers; those stuck in a hard situation: the track has a universality and familiarity. The way In Hoodies describes events; how he lets his words and voice captivate- few other singers have that sense of power and distinction. If anything, She Got Caught has embers of modern-day Beck: his Morning Phase sounds seem to have a modern-moment sister, here. That album (Beck’s) was filled with warmth and beauty; determination and wisdom- immersive and tender. There is sorrow and pain (in She Got Caught) yet the song has plenty of hope and strength: the focal messages implore change and motivation; getting out of holes (and bad ways) – there is that desire to change things for the better. Metaphors and imagery is summoned up- bird on a wire; a human in a hole- to highlight the fragility and vulnerability; the sense of danger and uncertainty- you certainly root for the heroine. In Hoodies’ voice remains romantic and concerned; never anxious or detached- always convincing and genuine. The track begins to exude and emote (towards the final stages); the tension and urgency builds- the instrumentation becomes more heated and stirring. Our hero looks at his girl; keeps his eyes set: she’s getting (in her own) way; making mistakes and caught in traps- all the while, you wonder what has caused this; whether a relationship break-down is afoot. The duo got caught between “two fires”; both strained and lost- you wonder if the hero will come out of this the same. Clearly there is a lot of back-story and history; the two have been through some real turmoil- there is that desire to see light and happiness. The guitars chime and sparkle- with Indie/Alternative edges- whilst the vocal aches and campaigns- reminding me a little of Noel Gallagher. In the final seconds, the composition takes a leap and shift: the guitar (bass and percussion) jumps and races; a push towards the end- keeping that energy and deep emotion clear and focused.
She Got Caught brims with passion and moment; that sense of sorrow and heartache- undertones of redemption and hope. In Hoodies’ E.P. is a two-song insight into a young mind: a man who has suffered some heartache and upheaval; someone with a deep soul- it is poured out across the E.P. The title track is a perfect statement of his music: oozing tenderness and power, the song never relents or wanes; its messages are vivid and sincere. As I said, the song has subjects/themes that are directed towards similarly-inclined people: those caught in a hole; maybe in need of direction. The vocal is both unheard-of and familiar: there are suggestions of other artists- Gallagher and his ilk- yet the Turkish singer surpasses expectation- he is seamless when raw and open; effortless when calming and introspective. Backed by superb backing- the musicians assembled perfectly compliment the lyrics- the song glides and floes; catches the emotions by surprise- and implores you to think. She Got Caught mixes classical strings (they are subtle but effective) with multifarious and deep guitars- that are atmospheric and beautiful. The composition supports and augments the songs; almost creating their own lyrics, the instruments marshal force and voice- whipping-up their own life and sense of ambition. Maturity and logic; openness and inspiration: these are elements that come through across the song; radiate and gleam- the track hits the mark after the first listen. With that exceptional and perfect production, you are compelled to revisit and go back: fill in gaps and lines; uncover mysterious moments- and try and dig to its core. Whether the young master will follow up (the She Got Caught E.P.) with another- or take a break- he should be proud and pleased- he has created something current and fresh; very much his work. Few modern artists pack this much promise and authority into their debut moments- an artist to watch closely.
In Hoodies is an act that (pretty much at least) gives me fresh impetus and invigoration: I actively seek great/different solo acts; the boys tend to be a little less daring- the Istanbul artist has produced a terrific track (and brilliant E.P.). Having journeyed to London- and joined with an amazing and legendary producer- the results speak for themselves. Not your run-and-the-mill, acoustic-led tale of love-loss-anger-introversion etc.; what you have it is music that delves deeper: it possesses the hallmarks of great Indie/Alternative music- the passion and anthemic appeal; that sense of swagger and heart- whilst displaying personality and individuality. I said up-top; when it comes to Turkish music- or any outside of the U.K. and U.S. – my sights are a little limited. Perhaps showcasing the natural limits of social media and the press- how can you make the people conscious of music from all around? – I am glad (to have assessed) In Hoodies. She Got Caught (the E.P.) is a short insight into a daring young artist; someone with a rich knowledge of the scene- a young man who wants to make big impressions. You can HEAR that ambition and passion come through: the music is consciously nuanced and catchy; the lyrics both outreaching and introverted; the production values seamless and completely befitting- keep your eyes and ears peeled, folks! It is the imagery/sense of mystery that compels me: those sketches/artwork (on the official website); the cards-close-to-his-chest enigma; the music alone- you have to fill some gaps, but have a great time doing it; come to your own conclusions. Before I finish up, it is worth assessing Alternative/Indie; a few thoughts about the E.P. itself. My Con (the E.P.s second half) is a slow-building and soul-grabbing little slice: In Hoodies lets his voice seduce and pervade; dreamy and urgent- you get wrapped-up in the song. Confessional and tender; devotional and hopeful- the song has quite a modern sound, yet seems inimitably his own. Both tracks on the E.P. have a fairly soft and sensual sound: there is no break-away riff or stadium-sized lust- everything is kept fairly intimate and controlled. This works in his favour; In Hoodies crafts music designed for lovers and dreamers; those that want to break away from the mundane- his music/voice is appropriately gripping and focused. There are some great male artists on the scene- aside from my initial fears and diatribe- from the likes of James Blake to Sam Smith; Pharrell to, well… there’s a lot out there. My main problems lie when you get into certain genre: when the boys stray away from Pop/Folk/Indie music, the most interesting results occur. Maybe it is just my tastes- and having been overwhelmed by the wave of samey acoustic guitar-wielding acts- but innovation and originality always creates the biggest waves. In addition to (the aforementioned acts); there are some promising new artists coming through the ranks- those that go beyond the stale and repetitive sounds (favoured by the charts and the media). Personal and romance-based music does not need to be dull and predictable; it can be utilised in fantastic manners- In Hoodies is putting his slant on the themes. Overcoming the pitfalls the genre/scene can produce- sticking to close to other acts; not getting bogged-down in cliché and superlatives- the Turkish star seems like he has a future. It will be interesting what comes next: whether a full album comes out; another E.P. perhaps- if the sound is expanded somewhat. She Got Caught showcases a unique lyrical voice; an artist going beyond the boundaries- let’s hope this drive and initiative continues long (for years to come). Let’s finish off with the young man himself: how to describe him and his musical role? Playing in the Alternative/Rock arena- a little bit of Pop can be heard- he is one of the genre’s finest new stars. Away from the beige and insipid examples- we all can list quite a few- In Hoodies has that necessary edge and flair; an intelligence which results in some terrific- that is capable of leading to long-term success. I shall finish with a list; made by In Hoodies- how he describes himself/his music (on his official website; read it to the sound of Radiohead’s Fitter Happier).
“Self-made, song writer
Sponge heart, deal hater
Big time… Naysaye
No talent, sketch-drawer
Need a way, but a map-burner
Few and far
In a ball of yarn
Lost, not found
Bit of a mess-maker
Student of little kids
Mood swings, ill at ease
Praying with no bliss
A phony, a twist
Scooter-lover with no license
Story-teller got no guidance
A walking, talking crisis
Hyper- empathic egoist
Bruised by educational fists
Slowly fading as an occupational disease
Just a windmill-fighter
Hood-looking, with no dis.
Not designed but a row of accidents
All ears, all ears, all ears
Speaks truth as a foreign language
Burns the saint keeps the wıtch
Black as pitch
Lost in the music…
Follow In Hoodies: