Let me cut to the chase – stop wasting your time reading my ramblings – just go and listen to Darkest Dreams by Kraków Loves Adana and thank me later!

It’s fair to say 2020 hasn’t been a great year for music fans.  All the gigs and festivals we were looking fwd to being cancelled, our favourite acts being told to retrain as something useful, like traffic wardens or “have you had an accident, no? are you sure?” call centres, and our favourite legendary venues facing the very real prospect of being converted into posh flats that nobody can afford.

The one beacon of light in this shit-fest is that artists have continued to release new music.  In one month I received press releases for 155 new songs by (mainly) artists who were new to me.

Anybody who thinks no decent music is being released any more really need to look a bit harder – the best music (IMHO) won’t be found on Radio 1, or even 6 Music these days who seem to be less adventurous than they used to be, but the internet is awash with the great and the good.

I try to at least have a quick listen to most of the music I’m sent, and mostly I think “hmm that’s good” and carry on with my day.

But every so often I receive something that stops me in my tracks – immediately I know it’s something a bit special that’ll have me playing the song on repeat before checking out the artists back catalogue.

These are pretty rare, last year there was Skating Polly, Kaelan Mikla and Beach Bunny.  This year there’s been Reb Fountain and now Kraków Loves Adana.

Kraków Loves Adana’s music has the immediate accessibility of bands like Depeche Mode, with an intense, melancholic beat, and poetic lyrics that often sound simplistic on the surface but with much more depth between the lines.

Deniz Çiçek’s vocal style is hard to pigeon-hole, suffice to say they are complex,unique and fit perfectly with the music.

Their videos are also engrossing, most of them focussed primarily on Deniz, who lights up the screen with her mysterious, enigmatic presence, full of contradictions and mystery and totally captivating.

As unique and larger than life as Morrissey, way back before, well you know what I mean!

So, who are Kraków Loves Adana?

There isn’t a whole lot of information about them online, the band consists of Deniz Çiçek and Robert Heitmann who met in Hamburg clubs and formed the band back in 2006.

Their name puzzled me for a while – was it an obscure movie or literary reference?

Then I found an interview where Deniz revealed they are both cities.  I’d heard of Kraków in Poland, Adana turns out to be in southern Turkey.  I also discovered that Cizek is a Turkish name… so putting 2 and 2 together, perhaps Deniz is from Adana and Robert is from Krakow, And rather than calling themselves Robert loves Deniz (which would frankly be rather cheesy) chose to made a statement that it doesn’t matter where you’re from, it’s where you are going that matters (or something like that).

I am of course just guessing, I don’t even know if they are a couple, and that’s how rumours can start 😉

But then I sometimes think we know too much about artists these days, what’s art without mystery and interpretation?

One of the great joys about discovering a band like this so late in the day is that aside from missing out on listening to them for the past 14 years, you get the chance to binge on their back catalogue of superb albums.

Their recently released current album is called Darkest Dreams.  It is their 5th studio album.

At first I decided to go old-school and order the Vinyl from bandcamp and wait to receive it without having a sneaky early listen.

I miss that anticipation, having to wait to get the album home before you could listen to it,

I failed miserably!  I think I lasted about 3 days before curiosity got the better of me and I listened to it on Spotify.  Yes, I’m weak, but if their back catalogue was anything to go by, this album was going to be very special.

Was it?  All I can say is, WOW!  What a masterpiece, 10 slices of absolute perfection, no filler, just a pure joy to listen to.

It’s at times like this I wish I was a proper music writer rather than a photographer who rambles on about the music I like – I can’t even begin to articulate how good this album is.  So you’ll just have to hear for yourself!

Don’t get me wrong, the first 4 albums are all superb, but this is different level awesome!

Honestly, if this album doesn’t become massive then there really is no justice.

Fans of Depeche Mode, Visage, OMD, Propaganda, Human League, New Order and so on should get straight on it!

I sincerely hope you enjoy the album as much as me – not because I need validation of my music taste – I’m well past the age of caring whether other people like the music I like or not, but because their music has brought me so much joy in the past weeks, it’d be nice to think I’ve passed the secret on to someone else who appreciates it as much as I do.

If you do enjoy this album (and I’d be surprised if you genuinely don’t), do me a favour and tell someone about it – this album is far too good to be a “lost gem”, and in 2020 let’s face it, well all need something to lift our spirits!

Who knows when proper gigs will return again?  But when they do I really hope that Kraków Loves Adana come to the UK.  If they don’t, I will certainly look into the possibility of coinciding a family holiday with one of their European tour dates – they really are that good!

Check out Kraków Loves Adana on Bandcamp.

Or if you are impatient and want a quick “flick” through their music videos, check out my featured artist playlist on NewMusic.Online

Naturally, they are included in my 100 Contenders For Your New Favourite Band playlist, well worth checking out if you like discovering new artists.